ADA Spotlight: Novo Nordisk, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly and More


Almost 15,000 physicians, scientists, health care professionals and industry representatives from around the globe presented research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a diabetes cure at the American Diabetes Association (ADA)’s 79 th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco this week. There were more than 8,750 presentations and 2,000 original research presentations. Here’s a look at just a few of the highlights.

• Data from the PIONEER 6 clinical trial was presented. The trial was run across 21 countries and included 3,183 patients who were given either a 14 mg dose of Novo Nordisk’s oral semaglutide once a day or a placebo. The drug decreased cardiovascular death and all-cause mortality by almost 50% based on median follow-up of 15.9 months.

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Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company presented data from the CAROLINA clinical trial. The study met its primary endpoint, finding that glimepiride and Tradjenta (linagliptin) had similar impacts on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality for a median of 6.3 years when prescribed in addition to patients’ standard of care for early type 2 diabetes. The study found that Tradjenta was safe for type 2 diabetes patients at high cardiovascular risk and showed non-inferiority to glimepiride.

Researchers at the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh presented results from a study of 605 type 1 diabetes patients who were diagnosed earlier than the age of 17 years and were followed for 25 years. The primary finding was that patients with blood pressure levels greater than or equal to 120/80 mm/Hg were twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to patients with lower blood pressure.

VeroScience presented six preclinical studies for a variety of metabolic diseases, including obesity, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH). The company’s treatment modalities use circadian neuroendocrine resetting therapy, a way to readjust aberrant clock controlled biochemical physiology caused by aspects of a western lifestyle, such as high fat/sugar diet, psychosocial stress, and altered sleep/wake architecture.

Sanofi presented data from its Phase III LixiLan-G trial. The trial compared Sanofi’s Soliqua/Suliqua compared to other GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), with Soliqua showing superior decrease of average blood sugar level (HbA1c) after 26 weeks.

The LixiLan-G trial looked at 514 adults with type 2 diabetes whose disease wasn’t well controlled by receiving GLP-1 receptor agonists. There was a broad range of available GLP-1 RAs, including either once-daily liraglutide (Novo Nordisk’s Victoza), twice-daily exenatide (Bydureon or Byetta) or once-weekly exenatide extended release, GlaxoSmithKline’s Tanzeum (albiglutide) or Eli Lilly’s Trulicity (dulaglutide) and metformin with or without pioglitazone, with or without a sodium-glucose transport protein 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i). This primarily means Soliqua/Suliqua was compared to standard treatments for type 2 diabetes in patients who weren’t controlling their disease well.

After 26 weeks, patients who switched to Soliqua had a 0.6% better reduction in HbA1c compared to continuing treatment with GLP-1 RA.

• Eli Lilly and Company presented results from its REWIND clinical trial at the ADA meeting. It also simultaneously published the results in The Lancet.

REWIND showed that patients on Trulicity (dulaglutide) had a 12% reduction in major cardiovascular events (MACE) compared to patients receiving placebo. The study assessed the effectiveness of Trulicity 1.5 mg, a weekly GLP-1 receptor agonist, compared to patients receiving placebo in adults with type 2 diabetes. The focus was on cardiovascular (CV) events.

MACE, in this study, was a composite of non-fatal myocardial infarction (heart attack), non-fatal stroke, or CV death. The study showed a consistent reduction in MACE events in patients both with and without established cardiovascular disease and the risk was consistent through the duration of the trial.

Yale University researchers presented a study investigating why relatives of type 1 diabetes patients are more likely to develop the disease themselves and whether immunotherapy can delay it. In the study, patients received Provention Bio’s teplizumab, an FcR non-binding humanized monoclonal anti-CD3 antibody or a placebo. There were 76 patients, 55 of whom were older than 18 years. Of the group, two were lost to follow-up and 42 were diagnosed with T1D. Overall 72% in the placebo group received a T1D diagnosis compared to 43% in the teplizumab group.

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