Current study: New drug can reduce risk of death from diabetes

Current study: New drug can reduce risk of death from diabetes

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New drug lowers risk of death in people with diabetes

Some time ago, health experts found that diabetes was responsible for far more deaths than previously thought. Scientists are now reporting on a new drug that lowers the risk of death in patients with type 2 diabetes.

More and more people with diabetes

Diabetes is one of the major common diseases in Germany. Health experts say around 7.6 million Germans are currently diabetic. Around 300,000 diabetics are added every year. Poor or even untreated, the disease has dramatic consequences: According to experts, the complication rate for heart attack, heart failure (heart failure) and stroke is about 2 to 3 times higher. A new drug for diabetes therapy is said to reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths.

Reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths

As the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) writes in a statement, diabetes patients are still two to three times more likely to die from cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks and strokes.

But newly developed drugs for diabetes therapy are said to reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths.

Scientists from the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID) at the Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden, partners in the German Center for Diabetes Research, have worked with international colleagues to investigate for the first time whether semaglutide in tablet form leads to a reduction in cardiovascular events.

An international, randomized, double-blind study was carried out with a total of 3,183 subjects, which was carried out in parallel in 21 countries.

The results of the study named PIONEER-6 were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM).

Active ingredient also available as a tablet

According to the DZD, medications have been developed in recent years, so-called incretin analogues, which like the gut hormone GLP-1 lead to insulin release in the beta cells of the pancreas and at the same time reduce the feeling of hunger in the brain.

Due to their chemical structure, these drugs have so far had to be administered by subcutaneous injection and can therefore not be taken orally as a tablet.

One of these active ingredients is semaglutide (trade name Ozempic).

This has been approved for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus since February 2018, for whom a change in diet and exercise do not sufficiently reduce elevated blood sugar levels, explains the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) on its patient information portal “ ".

According to the institute, semaglutide is injected with a pre-filled pen under the skin once a week regardless of a meal.

As the DZD explains, semaglutide in syringe form has already been demonstrated in a large international study (SUSTAIN-6 study) that it leads to a reduction in cardiovascular events, especially strokes.

It has recently become possible to make the GLP-1 receptor agonist semaglutide available as a tablet by combining it with an absorption enhancer.

Admission will be applied for

The PIONEER-6 study examined people with type 2 diabetes at various centers worldwide.

In addition to the standard diabetes therapy, the study participants received either a tablet with semaglutide or a placebo.

"At the end of the study period, it was shown that the oral semaglutide does not formally lead to a difference in the primary endpoint, which consists of cardiovascular death, non-fatal stroke and non-fatal heart attack," explains Prof. Andreas Birkenfeld from the University Study Center for Metabolic Diseases Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden.

"However, the risk of cardiovascular death was reduced by 51% and death for any reason by 49% in patients taking oral semaglutide," said the study co-author.

"In addition, the semaglutide pill led to an average weight loss of the test persons of 4.2 kg and to better blood sugar control."

According to the information, the results are now being reviewed and expanded in a larger, international SOUL study.

The Danish company Novo Nordisk is currently applying to the responsible authorities for approval of the semaglutide tablet for the therapy of type 2 diabetes.

The DZD points out that the study was funded by Novo Nordisk. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: The Myth about Blood Sugars and Diabetes (October 2022).