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Lilly launches weekly diabetes therapy

Lilly UK has launched Bydureon, the first once-weekly glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

Lilly UK has launched Bydureon (exenatide), the first once-weekly glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The once-weekly injection provides improvement in glycaemic control with the additional benefit of potential weight loss in most patients.

Exenatide once-weekly injection is indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in combination with: metformin; sulphonylurea; thiazolidinediones; metformin and a sulphonylurea; metformin and a thiazolidinedione, in adults who have not achieved adequate glycaemic control on maximally tolerated doses of these oral therapies.

The therapy provides continuous release of a GLP-1 receptor agonist delivered using Medisorb - a biodegradable microsphere technology developed by Alkermes - in a single, weekly, fixed dose, with no need for dose titration or blood glucose monitoring.

"We are increasingly using GLP-1 receptor agonists as a treatment option for patients with type 2 diabetes. These treatments reduce HbA1c and have the added benefit of potential weight loss, which we've seen in most patients in large clinical trials," said Professor Jiten Vora, diabetologist, Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

"Exenatide once-weekly injection represents not only an advancement in this class of medicine but is also an important addition to the therapeutic armament available to healthcare professionals and an exciting improvement in patient choice."

Compared to exenatide twice-daily injection or insulin glargine, the once-weekly injection enables more patients to achieve their HbA1c goals.

GLP-1 receptor agonists play an important role in glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes; they are increasingly used to treat patients not adequately controlled on oral medications. Although they are not weight loss treatments, data show that most patients achieve sustained weight loss when treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists.

"Until now, people with diabetes treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists have had once- or twice-daily injections. Exenatide once-weekly injection is a self-administered, subcutaneous injection delivered independently of meals that will fit easily into patients' lives," said Debbie Hicks, nurse consultant, diabetes at Enfield Community Services, BEH-MHT.

Exenatide once-weekly injection received marketing authorisation from the European Commission in June 2011 and was available to be prescribed in the UK from Tuesday July 11, 2011.

12th July 2011

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