Published on 10 October 2022

Study finds reduced risk of hypoglycaemia for people taking the medication.

A recently presented report has found that more people with type 2 diabetes achieved blood sugar target when taking insulin treatment.

The results of the ONWARDS 2 trial found that taking once-weekly insulin icodec treatment showed improved results compared with people taking once-daily insulin degludec.

The results were presented by Novo Nordisk at the 58th European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting 2022.

The findings highlighted that the third stage of the ONWARDS 2 trial, recorded 37% of adults with type 2 diabetes treated with once-weekly insulin icodec achieved an HbA1c of less than 7%, without experiencing severe or clinically significant hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels), compared with 27% of those treated with insulin degludec over a period of 26 weeks.

Dr Athena Philis-Tsimikas, Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, California, USA, and principal investigator of ONWARDS 2, said: “Once-weekly insulin would be a remarkable step forward in insulin innovation. It could offer people with type 2 diabetes reduced treatment complexity and burden by reducing the number of basal insulin injections from 365 to 52 per year, without compromising management of blood sugar.”

Researchers aimed to demonstrate a reduction of HbA1c levels in the study period for people taking icodec compared with insulin degludec.

Insulin injection pen.

People with type 2 diabetes involved in the study reported significantly greater satisfaction in favour of once-weekly insulin icodec compared with insulin degludec at 26 weeks according to results of a survey carried out by researchers.

Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President Development, Novo Nordisk, said: “We are very pleased to see the promising results from the ONWARDS programme so far. The patient-reported outcomes data we see in ONWARDS 2 further strengthen our belief that insulin icodec has the potential to become the ideal insulin for people living with type 2 diabetes initiating insulin treatment.”

The average weekly insulin dose was 268 U/week for insulin icodec vs 244 U/week for insulin degludec. The estimated mean change in body weight from baseline to week 26 was 1.40kg for for insulin icodec compared with –0.30 kg for insulin degludec.

A decrease in body weight of 1.40kg was also reported in people taking insulin icodec compared with a loss of 0.30kg for those taking insulin degludec.

Researchers concluded: “In the trial, once-weekly insulin icodec appeared to have a safe and well-tolerated profile. There was less than one hypoglycaemic episode per patient-year for insulin icodec and insulin degludec (0.73 events and 0.27 events per patient-year, respectively, with no statistically significant difference). As previously reported, no severe hypoglycaemia events were observed for people treated with insulin icodec.”

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