Health Canada approves Victoza(R), the first human GLP-1 analogue, to help people with type 2 diabetes maintain control of their disease
Diabetes is growing at an alarming rate in Canada, with an estimated 3.7 million people expected to be diagnosed by 2020. It is a progressive disease that, if not properly monitored and managed over time, will lead to serious long term complications. Canadians now have a novel treatment available to help them maintain optimal blood glucose levels. Health Canada has approved Victoza(R) (liraglutide), the first GLP-1 analogue, for once-daily administration for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes to improve glycemic control in combination with metformin or metformin and a sulfonylurea.
Victoza(R) works to mimic the body's natural response to food by stimulating the release of insulin only when blood glucose levels are high. In people with type 2 diabetes, Victoza(R) has been proven to lower blood glucose as well as weight and blood pressure more effectively than other diabetes therapies. Weight loss with Victoza(R) is attributed to the fact that it slows gastric emptying and leads to increased satiety after meals. Victoza(R) is naturally broken down in the body and does not require renal excretion.
"Despite our best efforts, many Canadians with type 2 diabetes are unable to achieve the recommended level of diabetes control with current therapies," says Dr. Bernard Zinman, Director, Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto. "This is of great concern since poor diabetes control increases the risk of developing serious long term complications, such as blindness, amputations, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Maintaining target glucose levels is an important aspect of managing diabetes, and with Victoza(R), patients have a new treatment option to help them achieve this goal."
People with type 2 diabetes do not properly produce or use GLP-1, meaning they have a GLP-1 impairment. When this happens, GLP-1 does not stimulate beta cells that lead to insulin production, impacting the body's ability to properly metabolise food and maintain optimal blood glucose levels.
Victoza(R) is a GLP-1 analogue that is 97 per cent similar to the natural human hormone GLP-1 produced by the human body. Victoza(R) mimics the GLP-1 effect in people who do not produce enough or use their own GLP-1.4
"I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 25 years ago," explains Ram Krishna, a diabetes patient. "People don't realize the day-to-day physical and financial challenges that are involved with managing the disease. There is clearly a need for newer treatment options to be made available to better assist people, such as myself, in managing the progression of the disease."