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Keywords:

  • basal insulin;
  • insulin degludec;
  • investigational;
  • nocturnal hypoglycaemia;
  • PEGylated long-acting basal insulin;
  • type 1 diabetes;
  • type 2 diabetes

Basal insulin analog therapy is the most common method of introducing insulin replacement therapy for the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Long-acting insulin analogs provide relatively peakless and more physiologic insulin replacement therapy than neutral protaminated Hagedorn insulin. Recently 2 new basal insulin analogs have been developed with superior pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties; insulin degludec and a pegylated insulin lispro. These agents are generally well tolerated and have been evaluated in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In this article we review the results of clinical trials assessing the efficacy, safety and tolerability of these newer longer-acting insulin analogs. In general rates of hypoglycaemia in these trials were low, glucose control was comparable to currently available basal insulin analogs, and rates of nocturnal hypoglycaemia were significantly and substantially lower. While further study will be required, advances in basal insulin replacement may offer important advantages over existing options for starting insulin strategies.