Diabetes: Study Finds Once Weekly Dulaglutide Lowers HbA1c

MedicalResearch Interview with:
Dr. Valeria Pechtner
Medical Advisor,
Lilly Diabetes

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Pechtner: Used as monotherapy, once-weekly dulaglutide resulted in significant, sustained glycemic lowering, as measured by HbA1c change from baseline. Both the 1.5 mg and the 0.75 mg dose were superior to metformin at the primary endpoint of 26 weeks. At 52 weeks, dulaglutide 1.5 mg continued to demonstrate superiority to metformin, with dulaglutide 0.75 mg showing non-inferiority. In addition, a majority of patients in all arms achieved the American Diabetes Association’s recommended HbA1c target of less than 7 percent, with more patients achieving this goal in the dulaglutide groups at the 26-week endpoint, and more patients achieving the target in the dulaglutide 1.5 mg group at the 52 week timepoint.

Additionally, dulaglutide 1.5 mg and metformin resulted in similar weight loss. The tolerability and safety profile was comparable for both medications.

MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Pechtner: Based on the data from previous dulaglutide trials, we were confident that both doses of once-weekly dulaglutide would demonstrate efficacy in lowering HbA1c when used as monotherapy.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Pechtner: Few GLP-1 receptor agonists have been compared in head-to-head studies with metformin, the gold standard for initial pharmacological treatment of type 2 diabetes. In AWARD-3, results show that, if approved, once-weekly dulaglutide could potentially be an option for patients with early type 2 diabetes for whom metformin may not be an appropriate treatment

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Pechtner: Since diabetes is a progressive disease that affects every patient differently, it’s important that we continue to search for new, innovative treatments that can help meet patients’ individual needs. This study provides new information for patients with early type 2 diabetes, who may benefit from monotherapy with once weekly dulaglutide, an investigational GLP-1 receptor agonist.


Efficacy and Safety of Dulaglutide Monotherapy Versus Metformin in Type 2 Diabetes in a Randomized Controlled Trial (AWARD-3)

Guillermo Umpierrez, Santiago Tofé Povedano, Federico Perez Manghi, Linda Shurzinske, and Valeria Pechtner
Diabetes Care published ahead of print May 19, 2014, doi:10.2337/dc13-2759 1935-5548


Last Updated on November 4, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD