GSK gets US yes for type 2 diabetes treatment

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tanzeum® (albiglutide) for injection, for subcutaneous use, as a once-weekly treatment for type 2 diabetes. 

Tanzeum has been approved as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycaemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Albiglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1), is a biological product for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, administered once a week using an injector pen supplied with a thin-walled needle. Glucagon-like peptide-1 is an important incretin hormone that helps reduce blood glucose levels but, in people with type 2 diabetes, its production is often reduced or absent.

Albiglutide was licensed by the European Medicines Agency in March 2014, under the brand name Eperzan®, for use in adult patients with type 2 diabetes.

Vlad Hogenhuis, Senior Vice-President and Head, GSK Global Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Neurosciences Franchise, said: “Many type 2 diabetes patients struggle to keep their blood sugar within the recommended levels. We are pleased that the approval of Tanzeum provides an effective new weekly GLP-1 treatment option for appropriate patients in the US.”

The FDA approval of albiglutide is based on the results of GSK’s comprehensive Phase III Harmony programme, consisting of eight trials and involving over 5000 patients, over 2000 of whom were treated with Tanzeum. The Harmony studies evaluated albiglutide against commonly-used classes of type 2 diabetes treatment, including insulin, metformin, glimepiride and pioglitazone, in patients at different stages of the disease, as well as those with renal impairment. 

Following this approval by the FDA, GSK intends to launch Tanzeum in the US in the third quarter of 2014.