Effects of the dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor activator aleglitazar in patients with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus or prediabetes

Am Heart J. 2015 Jul;170(1):117-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2015.03.021. Epub 2015 Apr 2.


Background: Insulin-resistant states, including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and prediabetes, are associated with elevated cardiovascular (CV) risk. Aleglitazar is a dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α/γ agonist with favorable insulin-sensitizing and glucose-lowering actions, favorable effects on blood lipids, and an acceptable safety profile in short-time studies. Therefore, it was hypothesized that aleglitazar would reduce CV morbidity and mortality in patients with T2D mellitus and prediabetes (defined as glycosylated hemoglobin ≥5.7% to <6.5%) with previous CV complications.

Study design: ALEPREVENT was a phase III, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, trial comparing aleglitazar 150 μg or placebo daily in patients with T2D or prediabetes with established, stable CV disease. The intended sample size was 19,000 with a primary efficacy measure of major adverse CV events. However, the trial was halted prematurely after 1,999 patients had been randomized because of futility and an unfavorable benefit risk ratio in another CV outcomes trial evaluating aleglitazar.

Results: At study termination after 58 ± 38 days of treatment, data had been collected from 1,996 patients (1,581 with T2D and 415 with pre-T2D). Despite the brief duration of treatment, aleglitazar induced favorable changes in glycosylated hemoglobin and blood lipids, similar for participants with T2D or prediabetes. However, compared with placebo, aleglitazar increased the incidence of hypoglycemia (86 vs 166; P < .0001), and muscular events (3 vs12; P = .012).

Conclusions: Even within a short duration of exposure, aleglitazar was associated with excess adverse events, corroborating the findings of a larger and longer trial in T2D. Coupled with the previous failure of several other peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α/γ activators, this class now holds little promise for CV therapeutics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Early Termination of Clinical Trials*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myalgia / chemically induced
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Myositis / chemically induced
  • Oxazoles / therapeutic use*
  • PPAR alpha / agonists
  • PPAR gamma / agonists
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / complications
  • Prediabetic State / complications
  • Prediabetic State / drug therapy*
  • Prediabetic State / metabolism
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Oxazoles
  • PPAR alpha
  • PPAR gamma
  • Thiophenes
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • aleglitazar