type 2 diabetes pump

Boston pharmaceutical company Intarcia Therapeutics have released positive results from a trial of their type 2 diabetes pump, known as ITCA 650.

ITCA 650 is a pump implanted under the skin which provides a year’s supply of exenatide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist. To ensure that levels of the drug are stable in the body, it is delivered in continuous minute quantities.

In a phase III trial, ITCA 650 was compared to Januvia (sitagliptin) – an oral gliptin drug, manufactured by Merck & Co, which reduces blood glucose levels. Januvia is often prescribed to patients when metformin alone is not effective.

During a year-long study, 535 patients with type 2 diabetes were either administered with ICTA 650 or took one 100mg pill per day of Januvia. According to Intarcia, ITCA 650 was more effective at weight loss and reducing HbA1c levels than Januvia.

ITCA 650 patients achieved HbA1c reductions of 1.5 per cent (17 mmol/mol), and lost an average weight of 4kg. Those on Januvia, meanwhile, experienced 0.8 per cent (9 mmol/mol) HbA1c reductions, and an average weight loss of 1.3kg.

While this new study is yet to be submitted for publication in a medical journal, Intercia Chief Executive Officer Kurt Graves is buoyed by the findings.

Graves said ITCA 650 is “a disruptive technology that gives patients a totally new way to treat diabetes. People on injections will want to switch over. It’ll have broad appeal in the market.”

The company also plan to file for regulatory approval of ITCA 650 within the next 12 months.