Insulin degludec, an ultra-longacting basal insulin, versus insulin glargine in basal-bolus treatment with mealtime insulin aspart in type 1 diabetes (BEGIN Basal-Bolus Type 1): a phase 3, randomised, open-label, treat-to-target non-inferiority trial

Lancet. 2012 Apr 21;379(9825):1489-97. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60204-9.

Abstract

Background: Intensive basal-bolus insulin therapy has been shown to improve glycaemic control and reduce the risk of long-term complications that are associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Insulin degludec is a new, ultra-longacting basal insulin. We therefore compared the efficacy and safety of insulin degludec and insulin glargine, both administered once daily with mealtime insulin aspart, in basal-bolus therapy for type 1 diabetes.

Methods: In an open-label, treat-to-target, non-inferiority trial, undertaken at 79 sites (hospitals and centres) in six countries, adults (aged ≥18 years) with type 1 diabetes (glycated haemoglobin [HbA(1c)] ≤10% [86 mmol/mol]), who had been treated with basal-bolus insulin for at least 1 year, were randomly assigned in a 3:1 ratio, with a computer-generated blocked allocation sequence, to insulin degludec or insulin glargine without stratification by use of a central interactive response system. The primary outcome was non-inferiority of degludec to glargine, assessed as a reduction in HbA(1c) after 52 weeks, with the intention-to-treat analysis. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00982228.

Findings: Of 629 participants, 472 were randomly assigned to insulin degludec and 157 to insulin glargine; all were analysed in their respective treatment groups. At 1 year, HbA(1c) had fallen by 0·40% points (SE 0·03) and 0·39% points (0·07), respectively, with insulin degludec and insulin glargine (estimated treatment difference -0·01% points [95% CI -0·14 to 0·11]; p<0·0001 for non-inferiority testing) and 188 (40%) and 67 (43%) participants achieved a target HbA(1c) of less than 7% (<53 mmol/mol). Rates of overall confirmed hypoglycaemia (plasma glucose <3·1 mmol/L or severe) were similar in the insulin degludec and insulin glargine groups (42·54 vs 40·18 episodes per patient-year of exposure; estimated rate ratio [degludec to glargine] 1·07 [0·89 to 1·28]; p=0·48). The rate of nocturnal confirmed hypoglycaemia was 25% lower with degludec than with glargine (4·41 vs 5·86 episodes per patient-year of exposure; 0·75 [0·59 to 0·96]; p=0·021). Overall serious adverse event rates (14 vs 16 events per 100 patient-years of exposure) were similar for the insulin degludec and insulin glargine groups.

Interpretation: Insulin degludec might be a useful basal insulin for patients with type 1 diabetes because it provides effective glycaemic control while lowering the risk of nocturnal hypoglycaemia, which is a major limitation of insulin therapy.

Funding: Novo Nordisk.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Insulin Aspart / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin Glargine
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / adverse effects
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / therapeutic use
  • Male

Substances

  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin, Long-Acting
  • Insulin Glargine
  • insulin degludec
  • Insulin Aspart

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00982228