Boehringer and Lilly’s Trajenta (linagliptin) in combination with metformin was shown to be more effective in controlling blood glucose levels than metformin alone.
Metformin, a successful glucophage drug for control of type 2 diabetes, was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and is now available in multiple branded and generic formulations.
Both drugs are used as monotherapies for type 2 diabetes in the UK, and some doctors already prescribe them together; but the new findings are likely to make the combination a standard treatment option.
The 24-week trial, part of a wider phase III study of the combination, showed that poorly controlled patients who received both drugs achieved an average reduction of 3.7% in HbA1c.
The drug combination was well tolerated, with only 9% of patients suffering side-effects and only 1.5% suffering hypoglycaemic events.
A previous one-year monotherapy trial had shown Trajenta to be of similar efficacy to glimepiride but with a significantly lower risk of side-effects, hypoglycaemic events and weight gain.
Trajenta is also the only approved diabetes medication with no need for dose adjustment in adult patients.
Professor Klaus Dugi, Corporate Senior VP of Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “Many patients with high HbA1c levels require more than metformin alone to reach their blood glucose targets. Linagliptin can support patients with type 2 diabetes to effectively manage their condition.”