Novo Nordisk's Liraglutide, a once-daily human GLP-1 analogue, that underwent phase-III study, has proved sustained improvements in blood sugar control in patients with early type-2 diabetes.

The study showed that liraglutide, when taken alone, produces statistically significant and sustained improvements in blood sugar control in patients with early type-2 diabetes, as compared with glimepiride, a widely used oral antidiabetic drug. Moreover, the treatment with liraglutide leads to weight loss, reduced systolic blood pressure and lower rates of hypoglycaemia after 52 weeks of treatment.

This trial is one of the five randomized, controlled, double-blinded studies, which makes up the phase-3a programme for liraglutide. The phase-3a programme involved about 4,000 patients with type-2 diabetes in 40 countries including India.

Liraglutide is a once-daily human analogue of the naturally occurring hormone Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1). Liraglutide works by stimulating the release of insulin only when blood sugar levels become too high and by inhibiting appetite.

The data of the 52-week study is featured in The Lancet which can now help physicians will have access to the key results on liraglutide's efficacy as monotherapy in the treatment of type-2 diabetes," stated Dr Alan Garber, principal study investigator for the study who is also professor of Medicine, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Molecular & Cellular Biology Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas.

The liraglutide treatment also led to a number of other clinical benefits when given to patients early on in the course of their disease. In addition, patients treated with liraglutide had significant weight loss. A mean weight loss of 2.05±4.40 kg and 2.45±4.37 kg occurred with liraglutide 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg, respectively, versus a weight gain of 1.12±4.24 kg with glimepiride.