Novo Nordisk has reported that liraglutide, taken once daily as monotherapy over two years, leads to statistically significant and sustained reductions in blood sugar and weight.

In a lead extension study conducted by the company, 58% of patients treated with liraglutide 1.8mg once daily reached and maintained the American Diabetes Association‘s (ADA) blood sugar target of A1C less than 7%, versus 37% of patients treated with glimepiride 8mg once daily.

Baylor College of Medicine‘s Dr Alan Garber said that even with available treatments, many type 2 diabetes patients still struggle to control their blood sugar, while losing weight.

“Liraglutide represents an important advance for these patients,” Garber said.

The study also documented that treatment with liraglutide leads to early and lasting weight loss. After two years of treatment with 1.8mg of liraglutide, mean body weight decreased significantly (-2.7kg) compared to overall weight increase in the glimepiride group (+1.1kg).

Minor hypoglycaemia, a condition where blood sugar levels become too low, was more than six times less frequent in the liraglutide treatment groups compared with the glimepiride group.