Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has launched its type 2 diabetes treatment in Japan, called Zafatek (trelagliptin succinate), a once-weekly oral dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-4) inhibitor.

Zafatek controls blood glucose levels by selectively and continually inhibiting DPP-4, an enzyme that causes the inactivation of glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucagon-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, incretin hormones that play a crucial role in blood glucose regulation.

Takeda Japan pharma business unit president and director Dr Masato Iwasaki said: "By adding Zafatek as an important new treatment option to our diabetes portfolio in Japan, we believe we are providing more suitable treatment options for the each patient’s individual needs.

"Zafatek is the world’s first once-weekly oral type 2 diabetes treatment option."

"Zafatek is the world’s first once-weekly oral type 2 diabetes treatment option. By delivering adequate information to doctors and healthcare providers, we hope Zafatek becomes an important therapeutic option for patients."

In Japan, the approval of Zafatek was based on the safety and efficacy results of multiple clinical Phase III trials in patients with type 2 diabetes.

According to the firm, the efficacy of once-weekly Zafatek was confirmed in all studies, in addition to an acceptable safety and tolerability profile.

In Japan, Takeda launched its first diabetes treatment in 2010 called alogliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP-4i).

The drug was later launched in other major markets such as the US, Italy, the UK, China, Mexico, and South Korea, with plans to expand access of alogliptin in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia and the Middle East.

Image: Takeda Pharmaceutical Company at Nihonbashi, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: courtesy of Lombroso.