Weight loss treatment ‘breakthrough’ for Type 2 diabetes

Posted by ap507 at Aug 19, 2015 09:45 AM |
University of Leicester study looks at new obesity treatment

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 19 August 2015

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images.

A study showing how a newly approved obesity treatment can help shed the pounds in people with Type 2 diabetes represents a breakthrough in weight loss management, according to a leading diabetes researcher.

Professor Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the Leicester Research Centre, University of Leicester, led the large international study involving nine countries and believes the findings could prove “significant”.

Among overweight and obese people with Type 2 diabetes, a daily injection of  liraglutide  at a dose of 3.0 mg, in addition to diet and exercise, resulted in greater weight loss over 56 weeks compared with placebo, according to a study published today in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

Liraglutide is a medication already approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes (administered once daily at doses of 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg) but this trial has shown that with a dose of 3.0mg liraglutide can help further weight loss in participants who were overweight or obese and had Type 2 diabetes. This evidence has supported the approval of the 3.0mg dose as a weight loss treatment in Europe.

Professor Davies, an internationally renowned expert in Type 2 diabetes who is also Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “Moderate weight loss can improve glycemic control and other cardiometabolic risk factors and disorders in people with Type 2 diabetes.

“This is the first study specifically designed to investigate the efficacy of liraglutide for weight management in patients with Type 2 diabetes and also the first study to investigate liraglutide at the higher 3.0mg dose in a population with Type 2 diabetes.

“Weight loss is especially challenging for individuals with Type 2 diabetes, who often experience a reduced response to weight-management pharmacotherapies compared with individuals without diabetes. The treatment options are extremely limited in Europe and so this additional option treatment to clinicians and patients is very welcome.

“The findings from this study are significant because they represent a breakthrough in weight loss treatment, paving the way to improved glycemic control.”

The study randomly assigned 846 overweight or obese study participants (age 18 years or older) with Type 2 diabetes to once-daily injections of liraglutide (3.0 mg) (n = 423), liraglutide (1.8 mg) (n = 211), or placebo (n = 212) for 56 weeks. A 12-week “off­drug” follow-up period was included to assess treatment cessation effects (total study length, 68 weeks). The study was conducted at 126 sites in 9 countries between June 2011 and January 2013. Participants were also instructed to follow a reduced-calorie diet and increase physical activity for weight management.

Average weight loss was 6.0 percent (14.1 lbs.) with liraglutide (3.0-mg dose), 4.7 percent (11 lbs.) with liraglutide (1.8-mg dose), and 2.0 percent (4.8 lbs.) with placebo. Weight loss of 5 percent or greater occurred in 54.3 percent with liraglutide (3.0 mg) and 40.4 percent with liraglutide (1.8 mg) vs 21.4 percent with placebo. Weight loss greater than 10 percent occurred in 25.2 percent with liraglutide (3.0 mg) and 15.9 percent with liraglutide (1.8 mg) vs 6.7 percent with placebo. More gastrointestinal disorders were reported with liraglutide (3.0 mg) vs liraglutide (1.8 mg) and placebo. Pancreatitis was not reported.

The researchers concluded: “This is the first study specifically designed to investigate the efficacy of liraglutide for weight management in patients with Type 2 diabetes and also the first study to investigate liraglutide at the higher 3.0 mg dose in a population with Type 2 diabetes.

“In the present trial, liraglutide (3.0 mg), as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, was effective and generally well tolerated and was significantly better than placebo on all three co-primary weight-related end points. Further studies are needed to evaluate longer-term efficacy and safety.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  • For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk
  • The Leicester Research Centre is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.
  • The Leicester Research Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.
  • Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, the Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, working with the city and county Clinical Commissioning Groups. It is a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.
  • For more information about the Leicester Diabetes Centre, visit http://www.leicesterdiabetescentre.org.uk.

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