A new study from The Baylor Endocrine Center in Dallas is the first clinical assessment designed to find out which of the 4 FDA-approved diabetes medications is more effective when combined with metformin (Glucophage®) to treat type 2 diabetes. This study, supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NIH, will provide new insights into how to better manage diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in the United States: more than 1.8 million people live with the disease in the state of Texas alone. Effective treatment options are crucial to stopping the disease from increasing among the population. Despite the large number of medicines available for treating type 2 diabetes, there is little information about how to treat and manage the disease.
GRADE – Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study is an evaluation focused on understanding other approaches for treating the disease. Metformin is the first-line treatment when it comes to type 2 diabetes. Despite having healthier lifestyles, some patients eventually end up needing additional drugs to slow down their disease progression. Through GRADE, researchers hope to identify which drugs are the best supplemental medications.
Priscilla Hollander, lead researcher of the GRADE Study said in a press release: “Diabetes is a major problem in the U.S., and patients are growing in number. We have a number of medications that we can use to treat diabetes, which is very good, but it’s still not clear how to use them in the best way.”
The study will enroll 5,000 patients with type 2 diabetes at 48 different study sites, many of whom might be monitored for 5 to 7 years. The ultimate goal of the project is to help the participants with their glucose level control and gain new treatment insights in the process.
David M. Nathan, chairman of the GRADE project added: “The GRADE study is a long-term study, which is necessary for a long-term disease like diabetes. We hope to see which diabetes treatment is best for the population as a whole, as well as which one drug or combination of drugs may be best for specific individuals.”
Sulfonylurea, DPP-4 inhibitor, and GLP-1 agonist are being tested in the stud, all of which increase insulin levels directly or indirectly. A long-acting insulin medication will also be tested. Dr. Hollander concluded: “I think it’s a study that’s trying to help us make better choices in treating diabetes. We want to know what is the simplest approach — and ultimately, the better approach — to help patients better care for their diabetes.”