New type 2 diabetes drug effective in lowering blood sugar and aiding weight loss

A new drug to help treat type 2 diabetes has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and enable weight loss in a Germany study.

MEDI0382, developed by MedImmune, is a balanced glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucagon receptor dual agonist. It is administered subcutaneously, and researchers believe that following this trial the drug has potential as an obesity and type 2 diabetes therapy.

The trial involved 51 overweight people with type 2 diabetesaged 18-65, 25 of whom were randomly assigned to MEDI0382 and 26 to placebo. 

Those who took the drug had significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels as well as lower levels after meals. HbA1c levelsalso decreased among the MEDI0382 group, who also lost more weight and had lower blood pressure compared with the placebo group. Moreover, there was no increase in hypoglycemia among the MEDI0382 group.

The proportion of those who experienced treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAE) was similar between treatment groups. Decreased appetite, vomiting and headache were among the adverse effects reported by 20 participants in the MEDI0382 group and 15 in the placebo group.

“MEDI0382 has the potential to deliver clinically meaningful reductions in blood glucose and bodyweight in obese or overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes,” said the researchers.

The authors noted that the small sample size was a limitation. “Future trials with larger study populations will have the capacity to include an active comparator group (such as those receiving a GLP-1 receptor agonist) for efficacy and safety analyses, which were not feasible in this study,” they added.

“Larger studies should also assess the effects of MEDI0382 treatment on gastric emptying, energy intake, and energy expenditure.”

The findings have been published online in The Lancet.