Dose-ranging study with the glucokinase activator AZD1656 as monotherapy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2013 Oct;15(10):923-30. doi: 10.1111/dom.12100. Epub 2013 Apr 22.


Aim: To assess the glucose-lowering effects of monotherapy with the glucokinase activator AZD1656 in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study performed in Japan (NCT01152385). Patients (n = 224) were randomized to AZD1656 (40-200, 20-140 or 10-80 mg titrated doses) or placebo. The primary variable was the placebo-corrected change from baseline to 4 months in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). Effects on fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and safety were also assessed.

Results: HbA1c was reduced numerically from baseline by 0.3-0.8% with AZD1656 and by 0.1% with placebo over the first 2 months of treatment, after which effects of AZD1656 started to decline. The changes from baseline to 4 months in HbA1c were not significant for the AZD1656 40-200 mg group versus placebo [mean (95% CI) placebo-corrected change: -0.22 (-0.65, 0.20)%; p = 0.30]. Formal significance testing was not carried out for the other two AZD1656 dose groups. A higher percentage of patients on AZD1656 achieved HbA1c ≤ 7% after 4 months versus placebo, but responder rates were low. Results for FPG reflected those for HbA1c. Cases of hypoglycaemia were rare with AZD1656 (one patient) and no safety concerns were raised.

Conclusions: Although initially favourable plasma glucose reductions were observed, there was a loss of effect over time with sustained AZD1656 treatment. The study design did not allow an evaluation of the reasons for this lack of long-term efficacy.

Keywords: antidiabetic drug; randomized trial; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Asian People*
  • Azetidines / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glucokinase / drug effects*
  • Glucokinase / metabolism
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • AZD1656
  • Azetidines
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Pyrazines
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Glucokinase

Associated data