In a study led by McMaster University, Eli Lilly’s dulaglutide (Trulicity®) reduced cardiovascular events and kidney problems in middle-aged and older people with type 2 diabetes.

Called the REWIND trial, McMaster University reports on the results of this international effort involving more than 9,900 participants in 24 countries.

The Challenges

Nearly 20% of people over 60 have diabetes, and most of those are afflicted with type 2 diabetes. 425 million have diabetes worldwide. Compared to others, people with diabetes have twice the rate of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes, and up to 40% of people with diabetes develop kidney disease, reports principal investigator Hertzel C. Gerstein.

The Study

The trial was led by the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences. Called Researching Cardiovascular Events with a Weekly Incretin in Diabetes (REWIND) trial, the results were published in the journal Lancet.  As reported in EurekAlert! during more than five years of follow-up, cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes were reduced by 12% in people taking dulaglutide compared with placebo.  The Eli Lilly drug reduced the development of kidney disease by 15%.

During the study, dulaglutide was well tolerated and moderately reduced weight as well as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and blood pressure, and modestly increase heart rate.  Side effects included gastrointestinal issues such as constipation or diarrhea, which were reported more than the placebo.

The Drug

Dulaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist that is injected once per week. Currently approved for glucose lowering, it works by helping the pancreas release the right amount of insulin when blood sugar levels are high, slowing the emptying stomach after a meal, and reducing appetite and weight.

The Sponsors

Funded by Eli Lilly, it was designed and led by a team of scientists that included investigator sites such as McMasters and the commercial sponsor. The data output was analyzed by the scientists of the PHRI and the principal investigator had final responsibility for the papers.

Lead Research/Investigator

Hertzel C. Gerstein 

Source: EurekAlert!

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