Novo Nordisk can look at a 90-year long history of improving the lives of diabetes patients. However, the phase IIIa trial that tested several doses of liraglutide as an ‘add-on’ to insulin treatment was a lead balloon.
Liraglutide is a once-daily human analog of the naturally occurring hormone Glucagon-Like Peptide-1. It stimulates the release of insulin only when glucose levels become too high, suppressing the glucagon production by the liver and by inhibiting appetite. The compound is approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and Novo hoped to expand its application to patients suffering from type 1 diabetes.
But no chance, the results are disappointing. Only two out of three doses reached the primary objective. They improved HbA1c – a value to measure the blood glucose level –