• exenatide;
  • glucagon-like peptide 1;
  • pioglitazone;
  • sitagliptin;
  • Type 2 diabetes

Diabet. Med. 28, 705–714 (2011)


Aims  In the initial 26-week, double-blind, double-dummy assessment period of the DURATION-2 trial in patients with Type 2 diabetes on metformin, the once-weekly glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist exenatide once-weekly resulted in greater HbA1c improvement and weight reduction compared with maximum approved daily doses of sitagliptin or pioglitazone. This subsequent, 26-week, open-label, uncontrolled assessment period evaluated the safety and efficacy of (i) continued exenatide once-weekly treatment and (ii) switching from sitagliptin or pioglitazone to exenatide once-weekly.

Methods  Randomised oral medications were discontinued and all patients received exenatide once-weekly. Of the 364 patients [original baseline HbA1c 8.5 ± 1.1% (70 mmol/mol), fasting plasma glucose 9.0 ± 2.5 mmol/l, weight 88 ± 20 kg) who continued into the open-label period, 319 patients (88%) completed 52 weeks.

Results  Evaluable patients who received only exenatide once-weekly demonstrated significant 52-week improvements (least square mean ± se) in HbA1c (−1.6 ± 0.1%), fasting plasma glucose (−1.8 ± 0.3 mmol/l) and weight (−1.8 ± 0.5 kg). Evaluable patients who switched from sitagliptin to exenatide once-weekly demonstrated significant incremental improvements in HbA1c (−0.3 ± 0.1%), fasting plasma glucose (−0.7 ± 0.2 mmol/l) and weight (−1.1 ± 0.3 kg). Patients who switched from pioglitazone to exenatide once-weekly maintained HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose improvements (week 52: −1.6 ± 0.1%, −1.7 ± 0.3 mmol/l), with significant weight reduction (−3.0 ± 0.3 kg). Exenatide once-weekly was generally well tolerated and adverse events were predominantly mild or moderate in intensity. Nausea was the most frequent adverse event in this assessment period (intent-to-treat: exenatide once-weekly-only 5%; sitagliptin [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] exenatide once-weekly 11%; pioglitazone [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] exenatide once-weekly 10%). No major hypoglycaemia was observed.

Conclusions  Patients who switched to once-weekly exenatide from daily sitagliptin or pioglitazone had improved or sustained glycaemic control, with weight loss.