The drug, Ozempic, is a GLP-1 receptor agonist and won FDA approval in the U.S. in December.
“Many of our patients with Type II diabetes are overweight and have elevated blood sugar levels despite lifestyle changes and current therapies,” Dr. Lawrence Leiter, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, said in prepared remarks. “The availability of a once-weekly injectable associated with effective glucose lowering and weight loss is a welcome addition to our treatment options.”
“Factors contributing to the increased global prevalence of Type II diabetes include an aging population, lifestyle and environmental changes leading to increases in obesity and improved survival for those living with diabetes,” Dr. Jan Hux, president and chief science officer of Diabetes Canada, added. “It is critically important that both population health and clinical approaches are applied to help prevent the onset and consequences of diabetes, including solutions designed to manage weight.”
In clinical trials, people who used Ozempic experienced statistically significant and sustained blood sugar control compared to people using medicines like once-daily insulin glargine or extended-release formualtions of exenatide.
In one 40-week trial of 1,200 patients, Ozempic succeeded in lowering glucose levels in patients with Type II diabetes and demonstrated statistically significant results compared to Eli Lilly‘s (NYSE:LLY) dulaglutide compound.