The European Commission has approved an update to the liraglutide (Victoza) EU label that expands the indication to reflect both improving blood sugar and cardiovascular (CV) events as integral parts of type 2 diabetes treatment.

Liraglutide is the only GLP-1 that is proven to prevent CV events in people with type 2 diabetes and high CV risk.

The updated label includes results from the LEADER trial, which demonstrated that liraglutide statistically significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction (heart attack) or non-fatal stroke by 13% versus placebo, when added to standard of care. The overall risk reduction was derived from a statistically significant 22% reduction in cardiovascular death with liraglutide treatment versus placebo and non-significant reductions in non-fatal myocardial infarction and non-fatal stroke.

“For the majority of type 2 diabetes patients I see, how to minimise their risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease is a serious consideration for their long-term health,” says Professor Steve Bain, UK LEADER trial National Leader and Assistant Medical Director for Research & Development for ABM University Health Board and Clinical Lead for the Diabetes Research Unit, Wales. “Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in patients with diabetes, accounting for almost two out of three diabetes-related deaths.”

“From a clinician’s perspective, we are often focused, rightly or wrongly, on controlling blood sugar levels. Now when we choose which treatment to prescribe we have an option that is proven to be effective not only in lowering blood sugar levels and reducing weight, but in improving the cardiovascular outcomes of our patients with diabetes that are at such increased risk compared to the average population.”

Liraglutide is a human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue with an amino acid sequence 97% similar to endogenous human GLP-1. It was approved in the EU in 2009 and is commercially available in more than 95 countries, treating more than 1 million people with type 2 diabetes globally.