Ultra-long acting insulin effective with three injections weekly

March 11, 2011, University of Toronto

A U of T study assessing a new longer-acting form of insulin—degludec— has shown that when given once daily it is as effective at controlling blood sugar as existing insulin glargine injections but with lower rates of hypoglycemia.

Consistent with degludec's long acting properties, the study also demonstrated that patients could achieve the same level of glucose control when the insulin was administered just three times a week instead of daily. The research, published Online First and in this week’s Lancet, is written by Professor Bernard Zinman of medicine and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Insulin degludec is a unique type of injectable insulin currently in development. In this 16-week, randomized phase 2 proof of concept trial , participants aged 18 to 75 years with type 2 diabetes and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1C) of 7•0-11•0 per cent were enrolled and treated at 28 clinical sites in Canada, India, South Africa and the U.S. A value of 7.0 per cent or under is usually the target for diabetes patients.

Patients were randomly allocated to receive insulin degludec once daily, insulin degludec three times weekly or insulin glargine once daily. At study’s end, mean HbA1C levels were much the same across treatment groups ranging from 7.2 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Fewer participants suffered hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar) in the insulin degludec once daily group compared to the other groups and the number of adverse events was much the same across groups, with no apparent treatment-specific pattern.

Professor Zinman said, “Because of its ultra-long action profile, insulin degludec injected three times weekly appears to provide similar glucose control to insulin glargine once daily. This new basal insulin analogue might be a valuable addition to clinical practice … However the safety, efficacy, and optimum use of treatment regimens for degludec will need to be established in larger phase 3 trials.”

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece ...

DNA gets away: Scientists catch the rogue molecule that can trigger autoimmunity

February 22, 2018
A research team has discovered the process - and filmed the actual moment - that can change the body's response to a dying cell. Importantly, what they call the 'Great Escape' moment may one day prove to be the crucial trigger ...

Low-calorie diet enhances intestinal regeneration after injury

February 22, 2018
Dramatic calorie restriction, diets reduced by 40 percent of a normal calorie total, have long been known to extend health span, the duration of disease-free aging, in animal studies, and even to extend life span in most ...

Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia

February 22, 2018
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in China, Germany and Texas, ...

Gut microbes protect against sepsis—mouse study

February 22, 2018
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers ...

Breakthrough could lead to better drugs to tackle diabetes and obesity

February 22, 2018
Breakthrough research at Monash University has shown how different areas of major diabetes and obesity drug targets can be 'activated', guiding future drug development and better treatment of diseases.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

david_42
not rated yet Mar 11, 2011
Based on my experiences with diabetics, the decrease in hypoglycemia with daily injections would be a far more useful trait than being able to go to three injections a week.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.