A new type of combination treatment, including basal insulin, is set to be launched next year after gaining European approval.
The European Commission has granted authorisation for the first ever once-daily basal insulin and GLP-1 receptor agonist in one pen for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults.
The product, marketed under the name Xultophy by Novo Nordisk, combines insulin degludec (Tresiba) with liraglutide (Victoza).
The authorisation covers all 27 European Union member states. Novo Nordisk said it expected to launch Xultophy in the first half of 2015.
The product is indicated for improving glycaemic control in combination with oral glucose-lowering medicinal products, when these alone or combined with basal insulin do not provide adequate glycaemic control.
New study data on the product was presented last week at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Vienna.
According to data from the DUAL I and II trials, patients taking Xultophy showed an early and substantial improvement in glycaemic control – HbA1c reduction of 1.9% – and a beneficial weight profile, compared to those talking insulin degludec alone.
These benefits were demonstrated from as early as four weeks after treatment initiation in both insulin-naïve and insulin-treated patients, according to Novo Nordisk.
Xultophy-treated patients also had a greater likelihood of reaching both pre- and post-prandial blood glucose targets, compared with either insulin degludec or liraglutide, said the company.
Gwen Hall, a diabetes specialist nurse from the Portsmouth Community Diabetes Service, noted that many diabetes patients were reluctant to increase their medication due to unwarranted side effects, such as weight gain, hypoglycaemia, or an increasing number of injections.
“The DUAL data show promise in addressing all those concerns, providing health care professionals, and people with diabetes, with a novel approach to managing their condition while minimising the impact of diabetes on their day-to-day lives,” she said.