Ultra-long-acting insulin degludec has a flat and stable glucose-lowering effect in type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 Oct;14(10):944-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01638.x. Epub 2012 Jul 10.


Aims: Insulin degludec (IDeg) is a new-generation, ultra-long-acting basal insulin that forms soluble multihexamers upon subcutaneous injection, resulting in a depot from which IDeg is absorbed slowly and continuously into circulation. This double-blind, two-period, incomplete block cross-over trial investigated the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of IDeg at steady state (SS) in people with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Forty-nine subjects treated with insulin without concomitant oral anti-diabetic drugs were given IDeg (0.4, 0.6 and/or 0.8 U/kg) once daily for two 6-day periods, separated by an interval of 13-21 days. Following dosing on Day 6, subjects underwent a 26-h euglycaemic glucose clamp (Biostator®; clamp blood glucose level: 90 mg/dl; 5.0 mmol/l). Pharmacokinetic samples were taken until 120 h after last dosing.

Results: For all dose levels, the mean glucose infusion rate (GIR) profiles were flat and stable. The glucose-lowering effect of IDeg was evenly distributed over the dosing interval τ, with area under the curve (AUC) for each of the four 6-h intervals being approximately 25% of the total AUC (AUC(GIR) (,τ,) (SS) ). Total glucose-lowering effect increased linearly with increasing dose. The blood glucose levels of all subjects stayed very close to the clamp target until end of clamp. The terminal half-life of IDeg was approximately 25 h at steady state. IDeg was well tolerated and no safety concerns were identified. No injection site reactions were reported.

Conclusions: IDeg has a flat and consistent glucose-lowering effect in people with type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / drug effects
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / administration & dosage
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / pharmacokinetics
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin, Long-Acting
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • insulin degludec