A series of studies have backed the use of sitagliptin in combination with other drugs to help improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Poster presentations at the American Diabetes Association Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans this week show promising results for sitagliptin (Januvia) when used in combination with either metformin or insulin.
One study, a 44-week randomised trial, involved 1,250 patients with an average HbA1c baseline of 9.8% and no prior diabetes drug treatment.
The intervention group of 560 patients, who received sitagliptin/metformin (Janumet), showed average HbA1c reductions of 2.4%, after 18 weeks compared with 1.8% for patients taking metformin alone.
A second 24-week study of 564 patients on long-acting, intermediate-acting or pre-mixed insulin - with without metformin - the addition of sitagliptin reduced HbA1c by 0.6%, compared with placebo.
However a higher incidence of adverse events were reported with the addition of sitagplitin compared with placebo, mainly due to increases in hypoglycaemia (15.5% versus 7.8%), although this is to be expected with anti-hyperglycaemic drugs in combination with insulin.
None of these treatments are yet licensed for use in the UK.