Novo Nordisk’s Xultophy (degludec/liraglutide) has been found to significantly delay time-to-treatment intensification when compared to insulin glargine U100 in adults with type II diabetes inadequately controlled on oral treatments.

The DUAL VIII trial results were presented at the 79th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in San Francisco and simultaneously published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

The insulin degludec and liraglutide combination helps patients achieve blood glucose targets, with a well-established safety profile.

The data showed that over 104 weeks, around 63% of study participants who received Xultophy did not require additional treatment, compared to approximately 34% of those who received insulin glargine U100. With the goal of mirroring clinical practice, participants were followed on average every three months, and met treatment intensification criteria when HbA1c measurements were ≥7% over two consecutive periods.

After the same amount of weeks the Xultophy arm required significantly less insulin units (37 vs 52), experienced a significantly lower weight gain (+1.7 kg vs +3.4 kg), and had a 56% lower rate of severe or blood glucose-confirmed symptomatic low blood sugar.

Vanita Aroda, director of Diabetes Clinical Research at Brigham and lead trial investigator said that in the trial they “were not just looking at clinical markers, such as HbA1c or effect on weight, but were addressing a key clinical question: how long would each treatment help patients achieve and maintain effective blood sugar control once initiated”.

She continued, “This study has shown us that, in this population of patients inadequately controlled on oral treatments, initiation with IDegLira has shown the potential to double the length of time in good glucose control, compared to treatment initiation with insulin glargine U100.

“In clinical practice this becomes relevant as the longer a patient can remain in good control, the less exposure there is to high blood sugar, and the fewer escalations, or changes, in therapy are required.”