Insulin Degludec, The New Generation Basal Insulin or Just another Basal Insulin?

Clin Med Insights Endocrinol Diabetes. 2012;5:31-7. doi: 10.4137/CMED.S9494. Epub 2012 Apr 11.


The advances in recombinant DNA technology have led to an improvement in the properties of currently available long-acting insulin analogs. Insulin degludec, a new generation ultra-long-acting basal insulin, currently in phase 3 clinical trials, has a promising future in clinical use. When compared to its rival basal insulin analogs, a longer duration of action and lower incidence of hypoglycemic events in both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients has been demonstrated.1,2 Its unique mechanism of action is based on multihexamer formation after subcutaneous injection. This reportedly allows for less pharmacodynamic variability and within-subject variability than currently available insulin analogs, and a duration of action that is over 24 hours.3 The lack of proof of carcinogenicity with insulin degludec is yet another factor that would be taken into consideration when choosing the optimal basal insulin for a diabetic individual.4 A formulation of insulin degludec with insulin aspart, Insulin degludec 70%/aspart 30%, may permit improved flexibly of dosing without compromising glycemic control or safety.5.

Keywords: basal insulin; insulin analogs; insulin degludec; insulin degludec70%/aspart30%; long-acting insulin analogs.