Patients with type 2 diabetes have an elevated risk of cardiovascular events; Hernandez et al. wondered if a once-weekly injection of albiglutide might mitigate this risk. The Harmony trial consisted of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial at 610 sites throughout 28 countries. The trial assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, 9463 patients consisting of men and women aged 40 years or older with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and pre-existing cardiovascular disease to receive either a once weekly injection of albiglutide (30-50mg) or a placebo injection, in addition to usual care.
After a median duration of 1.6 years, first occurrence of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction or stroke (the primary outcome) was lower in the albiglutide group than in the placebo group (7% vs. 9%; hazard ratio 0.78; p < 0.0001 for non-inferiority; p = 0.0006 for superiority.)
These results translate to a 22% reduction of risk of the primary outcome. Therefore, the researchers conclude that the addition of once-weekly injections of albiglutide to current standard care protocol would result in better cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Albiglutide is indicated to improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Administered once weekly by subcutaneous injection.
As a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, albiglutide functions to elevate intracellular cyclic AMP in pancreatic beta cells. This in turn leads to glucose-dependent insulin release, reduces glucagon secretion. It also delays gastric emptying and reduces food intake.
Numerous studies have shown benefits of using albiglutide as monotherapy or as an adjunct to other antidiabetic agents for improving glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Original article: Drugs. 2015 Apr;75(6):651-63.
Author: Nazanin Hakimzadeh
Author: Kelly Schoonderwoerd