Novo Nordisk has released trial data showing that its diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide) beat Sanofi’s Lyxumia (lixisenatide) in lowering levels of the blood glucose marker HbA1c.

According to results of the LIRA-LIXI study, presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden, the liraglutide/metformin combination reduced HbA1c by 1.83%, while the lixisenatide/metformin regimen took it down 1.21%.

The significant difference in blood glucose control “reinforces the value of liraglutide as an efficacious treatment for those with type 2 diabetes otherwise treated with oral glucose-lowering drugs,” said Michael Nauck, director and diabetologist, Division of Diabetology, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and principal trial investigator. 

Victoza also came out on top in reducing fasting plasma glucose (-2.85 mmol/L versus -1.70 mmol/L), while weight loss (-4.26 kg vs -3.67 kg) and blood pressure reductions (systolic: -4.70 mmHg vs -3.49 mmHg and diastolic: -2.62 mmHg vs -2.69 mmHg;) were observed in both treatment arms.

Both drugs are glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. GLP-1 is released within minutes after eating a meal and is known to stimulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion.