The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Eli Lilly have awarded two research grants under a three-year collaborative programme aimed at better understanding of diabetes care in older adults.

The unspecified grants go to Dr Guillermo Umpierrez of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, US, and to Dr Dennis Villareal of the Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Umpierrez will conduct a randomised controlled study comparing the DPP-4 inhibitor linagliptin (Boehringer Ingelheim/Eli Lilly's Trajenta) with a basal insulin (glargine) in long-term care residents with Type 2 diabetes.

Glargine is branded by Sanofi as Lantus, its biggest-selling drug, although Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly have filed a marketing-authorisation application with the European Medicines Agency for a biosimilar version (LY2963016) of the diabetes treatment.

Villareal’s research will investigate a lifestyle intervention strategy to treat diabetes in older adults.

US$1.2 million funding

Lilly Diabetes has provided US$1.2 million in funding for the three-year American Diabetes Association and Lilly Clinical Research Award: Diabetes Care in Older Adults.

It is estimated that around one quarter of people aged 65 years and over in the US have diabetes, and the prevalence is expected to grow as the population ages.

While there is substantial evidence that lowering blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce the risk of diabetes complications, older adults “have often been excluded from or under-represented in studies that led to this evidence”, the ADA noted.

“The number of people affected by diabetes is increasing, and people are living longer with the disease, so it’s particularly important to investigate new ways in which to manage an ever more diverse population with diabetes,” commented Robert Heine, vice president, medical affairs for Lilly Diabetes.