semaglutide type 2 diabetes

The type 2 diabetes drug semaglutide has been shown to support weight and loss and improve HbA1c levels in a new study.

The Novo Nordisk drug also reduced incidences of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and was shown to be well tolerated by participants.

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) taken once weekly. It works by stimulating insulin, suppressing glucagon secretion and making people feel fuller for longer.

Currently, Novo Nordisk is waiting on US approval for semgalutide’s use as a type 2 diabetes treatment.

In this new study, which was designed to show semgalutide’s benefits compared to another GLP-1 drug, insulin glargine, both drugs were tested across 196 sites in 14 countries.

A total of 8,000 adults were involved, all of whom had type 2 diabetes and were aged 18 years or older. All had previously struggled to keep normal blood glucose levels with metformin alone or in combination with a sulfonylurea.

Participants were randomized to semaglutide or insulin glargine for 30 weeks, with HbA1c and changes to mean body weight measured by researchers.

After the 30 weeks, semaglutide was associated with “fewer hypoglycemic episodes, and was well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to that of other GLP-1 receptor agonists.”

Senior investigator Dr Vanita Aroda added: “Results from this post hoc analysis show that once-weekly semaglutide consistently lowered blood glucose and weight in people with type 2 diabetes regardless of their current oral antidiabetic therapy.”

The results were presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th Annual Meeting and Expo Florida and were also published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.