Longer-lasting exenatide maintained glucose levels, helped patients lose weight, study reports
TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetics getting weekly injections of an experimental long-lasting version of the drug exenatide lowered their glucose levels and lost weight over the year they were on the medication, a new study reports.
The new drug, dubbed "exenatide once weekly," even appeared to cause additional improvements in A1C (glycated hemoglobin) and fasting plasma glucose in diabetics currently receiving twice-daily injections of Byetta -- the version of exenatide now on the market.
The findings, overseen by the three pharmaceutical companies developing exenatide once weekly, were presented this week at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting, in San Francisco.
"Patients significantly reduced their blood glucose levels and, on average, lost a total of over 9 pounds. These improvements were sustained for a year," Dr. John B. Buse, director of the Diabetes Care Center and chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, said in a prepared statement. "Importantly, the study results also showed that steady-state levels of exenatide may result in improvements in a variety of glucose parameters. If approved, exenatide once weekly may provide patients with a treatment option that is on board 24 hours a day, seven days a week, helping to manage their blood sugar and, secondarily, their weight."
Byetta is sometimes used to complement other glycemic-control medications, such as metformin, a sulfonylurea, or a thiazolidinedione, in people with type 2 diabetes. Byetta is the only incretin mimetic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by type 2 diabetes who are otherwise unsuccessful at controlling their blood sugar levels.
The study, which included almost 300 type 2 diabetics, showed that those taking
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