Background: As new members of a drug class are developed, head-to-head trials are an important strategy to guide personalised treatment decisions. We assessed two glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, once-weekly albiglutide and once-daily liraglutide, in patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled on oral antidiabetic drugs.
Methods: We undertook this 32-week, open-label, phase 3 non-inferiority study at 162 sites in eight countries: USA (121 sites), Australia (9 sites), Peru (7 sites), Philippines (7 sites), South Korea (5 sites), UK (5 sites), Israel (4 sites), and Spain (4 sites). 841 adult participants (aged ≥18 years) with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes and a BMI between 20 and 45 kg/m(2) were enrolled and randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive albiglutide 30 mg once weekly titrated to 50 mg at week 6, or liraglutide 0·6 mg once daily titrated to 1·2 mg at week 1 and 1·8 mg at week 2. The randomisation schedule was generated by an independent randomisation team by the permuted block method with a fixed block size of 16. Participants and investigators were unmasked to treatment. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in HbA1c for albiglutide versus liraglutide, with a 95% CI non-inferiority upper margin of 0·3%. The primary analysis was by modified intention to treat. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01128894.
Findings: 422 patients were randomly allocated to the albigultide group and 419 to the liraglutide group; 404 patients in the abliglutide group and 408 in the liraglutide group received the study drugs. The primary endpoint analysis was done on the modified intention-to-treat population, which included 402 participants in the albiglutide group and 403 in the liraglutide group. Model-adjusted change in HbA1c from baseline to week 32 was -0·78% (95% CI -0·87 to -0·69) in the albigludite group and -0·99% (-1·08 to -0·90) in the liraglutide group; treatment difference was 0·21% (0·08-0·34; non-inferiority p value=0·0846). Injection-site reactions occurred in more patients given albiglutide than in those given liraglutide (12·9% vs 5·4%; treatment difference 7·5% [95% CI 3·6-11·4]; p=0·0002), whereas the opposite was the case for gastrointestinal events, which occurred in 49·0% of patients in the liraglutide group versus 35·9% in the albiglutide group (treatment difference -13·1% [95% CI -19·9 to -6·4]; p=0·00013).
Interpretation: Patients who received once-daily liraglutide had greater reductions in HbA1c than did those who received once-weekly albiglutide. Participants in the albiglutide group had more injection-site reactions and fewer gastrointestinal events than did those in the liraglutide group.
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