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New type 2 diabetes drug launched in UK

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A new DPP-4 inhibitor for treating for type 2 diabetes was launched in the UK this week.

Alogliptin (Vipidia) has been licensed for adults aged 18 years and older to improve glycaemic control in combination with other glucose-lowering medicinal products, including insulin, when together with diet and exercise they do not provide adequate control.

The granting of the licence, by the European Medicines Agency, was based on the results of a clinical trial programme called EXAMINE, which included over 14,800 patients.

The trial demonstrated that alogliptin did not increase cardiovascular risk in diabetes patients at high-risk for major adverse cardiac events due to a recent acute coronary syndrome.

Results from another trial showed that alogliptin 25mg added-on to metformin offered superior durability of glycaemic control at two years with less hypoglycaemic episodes and significant reduction on weight, compared to the sulphonylurea glipizide added-on to metformin.

The new drug is manufactured by Takeda.  

Gwen Hall, a diabetes specialist nurse with the Portsmouth Community Diabetes Service, said: “People with type 2 diabetes and their care teams have decisions to make regarding appropriate medication taking many factors into account, such as driving, risk of hypos and weight gain.

“It is reassuring to have evidence around cardiovascular safety, as in the EXAMINE trial, to aid and support that choice.”

On Tuesday, draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended another new drug, canagliflozin (Invokana), as a treatment option for some people with diabetes.

The endorsement came in draft guidance published for consultation on 24 February.

Canagliflozin is a daily oral medication belonging to a new type of drug called sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT-2) inhibitors.

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