Eli Lilly and Company, and Amylin announced positive results from a head-to-head study comparing exenatide once weekly, an investigational diabetes therapy, to BYETTA® (exenatide) injection taken twice daily, in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
After 24 weeks of treatment, patients taking exenatide once weekly experienced a statistically superior reduction in A1c, a measure of average blood sugar over three months, of 1.6 percentage points from baseline, compared to a reduction of 0.9 percentage points for BYETTA. Patients treated with exenatide once weekly achieved a mean A1c of 7.1 percent compared with a mean A1c of 7.7 percent in those treated with BYETTA. Both treatment groups achieved statistically significant weight loss by the end of the study, with an average loss of 5.1 pounds for patients taking exenatide once weekly and 3.0 pounds for patients taking BYETTA.
These findings are consistent with the results of other studies of exenatide once weekly and BYETTA. The companies conducted DURATION-5 to support regulatory submissions outside of the U.S. and provide additional controlled clinical data on the commercially manufactured product. DURATION is a series of clinical trials designed to test the superiority of exenatide once weekly as compared to currently available Type 2 diabetes medications.
“The DURATION-5 data reinforce the efficacy of BYETTA and potential of exenatide once weekly in improving blood glucose control as measured by A1c, and build upon other successful DURATION trials,” said Orville G. Kolterman, M.D., senior vice president of research and development, Amylin Pharmaceuticals. “More importantly, these results continue to suggest that if approved, exenatide once weekly could play an important role in advancing the treatment of Type 2 diabetes by providing patients the opportunity for improved A1c control and weight loss with just one dose per week.”
Approximately 80 percent of patients completed the study. Consistent with previous DURATION trials, the most frequently reported adverse event in both groups was nausea, reported less frequently by exenatide once weekly users (14 percent) than by BYETTA users (35 percent). There were no major hypoglycemic events. Cases of minor hypoglycemia in both groups were limited to patients using background sulfonylurea therapy.
The 24-week, open-label superiority study included approximately 250 participants with Type 2 diabetes who were not achieving adequate glucose control using background therapies that included diet and exercise, metformin, sulfonylurea, thiazolidinediones or a combination of the agents. Patients were randomized to receive either exenatide once weekly or BYETTA. Patients in the exenatide once weekly treatment arm received 2 milligrams once a week, while patients in the BYETTA arm received 5 micrograms twice a day for the first four weeks and 10 micrograms twice a day for the remaining 20 weeks. The primary endpoint was reduction in A1c; secondary endpoints included change in body weight and fasting plasma glucose, safety and tolerability.
Amylin, Lilly and Alkermes submitted a new drug application (NDA) for exenatide once weekly to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2009; the NDA was accepted for review in July 2009. Lilly will be responsible for marketing exenatide once weekly outside the U.S. and expects to submit a marketing application to the European Medicines Agency by the end of the second quarter in 2010.