INDIANAPOLIS—Trulicity™ (dulaglutide), approved today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is the latest Eli Lilly and Company treatment option for adults with type 2 diabetes.
"Type 2 diabetes is a serious chronic condition that causes blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal,” said Mary Parks, M.D., deputy director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Trulicity is a new treatment option, which can be used alone or added to existing treatment regimens to control blood sugar levels in the overall management of type 2 diabetes.”
Trulicity is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, a hormone that helps normalize blood sugar levels. The drug’s safety and effectiveness were evaluated in six clinical trials in which 3,342 patients with type 2 diabetes received Trulicity. Patients receiving Trulicity had an improvement in their blood sugar control as observed with reductions in HbA1c level. Hemoglobin A1c is a measure of blood sugar control.
Trulicity has been studied as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with other type 2 diabetes therapies, including metformin, sulfonylurea, thiazolidinedione, and prandial insulin. Trulicity should not be used to treat people with type 1 diabetes; those who have increased ketones in their blood or urine (diabetic ketoacidosis); those with severe stomach or intestinal problems; or as first-line therapy for patients who cannot be managed with diet and exercise.
Lilly plans to make Trulicity 0.75 mg and 1.5 mg single-dose pens available for adults in the United States later this year. This marks the first approval for Trulicity anywhere in the world. It has also been submitted to the European Medicines Agency and other regulatory bodies.
"We are delighted with the approval of Trulicity. Lilly now has treatment options in several classes of diabetes medications: orals, GLPs and insulin," said Enrique Conterno, president, Lilly Diabetes. "Trulicity will help grow the GLP-1 receptor agonist class as a new choice for adults with type 2 diabetes."
The biologics license application to the FDA was based on a number of studies of Trulicity used alone or in combination with commonly prescribed diabetes medications, including metformin, pioglitazone, glimepiride and insulin lispro. These studies included five large Phase 3 clinical trials from the Assessment of Weekly AdministRation of LY2189265 in Diabetes (AWARD) clinical development program. The efficacy of Trulicity was compared to four commonly used type 2 diabetes medicines: metformin, Januvia®, Byetta® and Lantus®.
Trulicity comes in a single-dose pen that does not require mixing, measuring or needle attachment. Trulicity is administered once a week, any time of day, independent of meals, and should be injected subcutaneously in the abdomen, thigh or upper arm. The recommended starting dose is 0.75 mg, which can be increased to 1.5 mg dose for patients who need additional blood sugar control.
"Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and many patients have not reached their treatment goals," said Dr. David Kendall, vice president, medical affairs, Lilly Diabetes. "Trulicity is a new, non-insulin, injectable option that was designed with the patient in mind. It will be available in a once-weekly pen and does not require mixing, measuring nor needle handling."
Diabetes remains one of society's most prevalent diseases. More than 380 million people around the world have diabetes. In the U.S., the disease affects more than 29 million people. Type 2 diabetes is the most common, and the number of people with the disease is quickly growing.
Trulicity is not recommended as first-line therapy for patients inadequately controlled on diet and exercise. It has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis, and other antidiabetic therapies should be considered for patients with a history of pancreatitis. Trulicity is not for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus or diabetic ketoacidosis. Trulicity is not a substitute for insulin and has not been studied in combination with basal insulin. Trulicity has not been studied in patients with severe gastrointestinal disease, including severe gastroparesis, and is not for patients with pre-existing severe gastrointestinal disease.
The labeling for Trulicity contains a Boxed Warning regarding increased risk for thyroid C-cell tumors based on studies in rats. In rats, dulaglutide caused a dose-related and treatment-duration-dependent increase in the incidence of thyroid C-cell tumors (adenomas and carcinomas) after lifetime exposure. It is unknown whether Trulicity causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans as human relevance could not be determined from clinical or nonclinical studies. Trulicity is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC and in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Routine serum calcitonin or thyroid ultrasound monitoring is of uncertain value in patients treated with Trulicity. Patients should be counseled regarding the risk factors and symptoms of thyroid tumors.
Lilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when the company introduced the world's first commercial insulin. Today, Lilly is building upon this heritage by working to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes and those who care for them. Through research and collaboration, a broad and growing product portfolio and a continued determination to provide real solutions—from medicines to support programs and more—the company strives to make life better for all those affected by diabetes around the world.