Efficacy and Safety of a Biosimilar Liraglutide (Melitide®) Versus the Reference Liraglutide (Victoza®) in People with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Noninferiority Clinical Trial

Diabetes Ther. 2023 Nov;14(11):1889-1902. doi: 10.1007/s13300-023-01462-w. Epub 2023 Sep 14.


Introduction: Liraglutide effectively controls blood glucose level and reduces body weight. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of a biosimilar liraglutide (Melitide®; CinnaGen, Tehran, Iran) to the reference liraglutide (Victoza®; Novo Nordisk, Bagsvaerd, Denmark) in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Methods: In this phase 3 clinical noninferiority trial, adult patients with inadequately controlled T2DM and with hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels of 7-10.5% on at least two oral glucose-lowering drugs with stable doses for at least 3 months were randomized to receive Melitide® (n = 150) or Victoza® (n = 150) 1.8 mg/day for 26 weeks. The primary outcome was assessment of the noninferiority of Melitide® to Victoza® in terms of change in HbA1C level with a prespecified margin of 0.4%. The secondary outcomes were the assessment of additional efficacy parameters (including the proportion of patients achieving HbA1C levels of < 7%), the incidence of adverse events, and immunogenicity.

Results: Of the 300 participants enrolled in this study, 235 were included in the per-protocol analysis (112 in the Melitide® group and 123 in the Victoza® group). The mean (standard deviation) changes in HbA1C were - 1.76% (1.22) in the Melitide® group and - 1.59% (1.31) in the Victoza® group. The upper limit of the 95% one-sided confidence interval (CI) of the mean difference between Melitide® and Victoza® in lowering HbA1C was lower than the predefined margin (mean difference - 0.18, 95% CI - 0.5 to 0.15). Similar findings were obtained with the intention-to-treat analysis. No statistically significant differences were observed between the two study arms regarding the proportion of patients achieving HbA1C < 7% (p = 0.210), other efficacy parameters (p > 0.05), and reported adverse events (p = 0.916). Furthermore, none of the patients developed anti-liraglutide antibodies.

Conclusion: The biosimilar liraglutide (Melitide®) was noninferior in efficacy and comparable in safety when compared with the reference liraglutide.

Trial registration: NCT03421119.

Keywords: Biosimilar; Diabetes; Liraglutide; Melitide®; Victoza®.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03421119

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