A review of efficacy and safety data regarding the use of liraglutide, a once-daily human glucagon-like peptide 1 analogue, in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Research paper by Eduard E Montanya, Giorgio G Sesti

Indexed on: 30 Jan '10Published on: 30 Jan '10Published in: Clinical Therapeutics


Liraglutide, a human glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogue that has received marketing approval from the European Commission, is a treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) that is administered as a once-daily subcutaneous injection.The aim of this review was to summarize the efficacy and safety data published about liraglutide, focusing on data from Phase III clinical trials.Relevant English-language publications were identified through a search of MEDLINE and EMBASE (from 1948 to October 2009). The search terms included the following: GLP-1, incretin effect, liraglutide, NN2211, exenatide, sitagliptin, and vildagliptin. Original research papers about liraglutide that were published in peer-reviewed journals were considered.The literature search identified 39 relevant publications. The efficacy and tolerability of oncedaily liraglutide at doses of 0.6, 1.2, and 1.8 mg for type 2 DM, in combination with, and compared with, other type 2 DM treatments were investigated in the Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes (LEAD) Phase III clinical trial program. In the LEAD studies, consistent reductions in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) of up to 1.6% were seen with liraglutide, and up to 66% of patients achieved the HbA(1c) goal of <7%. Fasting and postprandial plasma glucose levels were also consistently reduced across the LEAD trials by up to 43 mg/dL (2.4 mmol/L) and 49 mg/dL (2.7 mmol/L), respectively. Hypoglycemia was reported at a rate of 0.03 to 1.9 events per patient annually. Liraglutide significantly improved beta-cell function, as measured by homeostasis model assessment for beta-cell function analysis (20%-44%) and by ratios of pro-insulin to insulin (-0.11 to 0.01). Consistent reductions in systolic blood pressure up to 6.7 mm Hg were also observed for liraglutide treatment. Liraglutide treatment, as monotherapy and in combination with oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs), was associated with weight loss of up to 3.24 kg. Overall, liraglutide was well tolerated. Nausea was the most common adverse event observed with liraglutide treatment, reported by 5% to 29% of patients; however, nausea was generally mild and transient.Once-daily liraglutide was effective and well tolerated when used as monotherapy or in combination with OADs in patients with type 2 DM, and is therefore a promising new treatment option for the management of type 2 DM.