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Lantus shows no retinopathy progression risk

Sanofi-aventis has announced the results a five-year study of Lantus on progression of retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes

Sanofi-aventis has announced the results a five-year study of Lantus (insulin glargine [DNA] injection) versus NPH insulin on progression of retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes. The findings of this, the longest controlled study ever reported using insulin glargine, were published online in Diabetologia and showed similar effects on retinopathy and overall safety in the two treatment groups. 

Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive disease that results from cellular proliferation within the eye and is a major cause of blindness in patients with diabetes. In the study of patients with retinopathy, the progression of diabetic retinopathy was similar in the two treatment groups over the long-term course of treatment. This indicates that Lantus does not have mitogenic effects different from the human NPH insulin within the eye. Dr Julio Rosenstock, director of the Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Medical City and clinical professor of medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School explains: "The study demonstrated no evidence of a greater risk of progression of retinopathy with insulin glargine."

The results follow recent publicity concerning questions raised over the safety of insulin analogues. On June 25, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) made an urgent call for more research into a possible link between use of Lantus and the increased risk of cancer, and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) is looking into four recently published registry studies that investigate a possible relationship between insulin analogues, in particular insulin glargine, and the risk of cancer. The studies, which showed inconsistent results, were published on the Diabetologia website on June 26, 2009.

6th July 2009

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