Two new phase 3 studies published in The Lancet show that ultra long acting insulin, Degludec, an investigational compound from Novo Nordisk, significantly reduces the rates of nocturnal hypoglycemia by 25%, compared to insulin glargine.
The two studies included in total 1,635 participants and investigated insulin degludec compared to insulin glargine in a basal-bolus regimen in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both studies were ‘treat-to-target’ studies, meaning patient insulin doses were adjusted systematically to allow them to achieve a targeted fasting glucose level. As a result, patients successfully achieved comparable improvements in glucose control in both studies, allowing researchers to closely determine the differences in the rates of hypoglycemia.
In type 2 patients, a significantly lower rate of overall hypoglycemic events was seen in the insulin degludec group, compared to those taking insulin glargine (11.1 vs. 13.6 episodes/patient-year). In the type 1 diabetes group the rate of hypoglycemia was comparable between the two treatment arms.
The rate of hypoglycemia at night was 25% lower in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes for patients treated with insulin degludec, compared to those taking insulin glargine (4.4 vs. 5.9 episodes/patient-year and 1.4 vs. 1.8 episodes/patient-year respectively).