Roche’s weekly diabetes drug taspoglutide has been found to be on a par with rival sanofi-aventis’ Lantus (insulin glargine), according to a head-to-head Phase III trial.

A second study, meanwhile, found the first once weekly glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue had better reductions in HbA1c levels than those on a placebo.
The two studies, T-emerge 5 and T-emerge 7 both met their respective primary endpoints of change in HbA1c. In both studies taspoglutide was generally well tolerated.

Results from the studies T-emerge 2, T-emerge 1 and T-emerge 4 have already been released. A further three T-emerge Phase III trials exploring taspoglutide in patients with diabetes are ongoing.

This compound is similar to the natural hormone GLP-1 that has a key role in blood sugar regulation. GLP-1 analogues, which stimulate insulin secretion and suppress glucagon secretion, is being seen as a real innovation in the field of diabetes treatment.

If approved, the drug is expected to generate $2 billion a year.