May 26, 2024

the logo of Lilly is seen on a wall

Eli Lilly’s experimental weekly insulin reduced patient’s A1C by an average of of at least 1% in late-stage clinical trials.
Image: Vincent Kessler (Reuters)

People who depend on daily insulin shots may soon have welcome news: a new experimental drug could cut their treatments down from daily doses to weekly ones.

Eli Lilly announced positive result on Thursday of its phase-3 clinical trails (QWINT-2 and QWINT-4) for its weekly insulin efsitora. Trial results showed that the long-acting insulin was just as effective as traditional daily doses.

The news comes as the pharma giant, known for its diabetes and weight loss medications Mounjaro and Zepbound, is racing against its rival Ozempic maker Novo Nordisk to introduce a more convenient long-acting insulin to the market. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee is set to review Novo Nordisk’s weekly insulin, Awiqli, next week.

Eli Lilly said today that type 2 diabetes patients, and who were taking insulin for the first time saw their A1C levels drop an average of 1.34% after 52 weeks on efsitora. For comparison, patients in the trial taking daily insulin saw their A1C levels fall 1.26%. A1C tests measures a patient’s blood sugar levels over a three-month period.

In a parallel trial, the company also found that efsitora also helped type-2 diabetes patients who previously have been taking at least two daily injections of insulin. In this group, patients taking efsitora saw their A1C drop 1.07% after 26 weeks.

“The results of QWINT-2 and QWINT-4 are a significant milestone for the diabetes community and demonstrate that efsitora as a weekly insulin provides blood sugar control equivalent to daily basal insulins,” Eli Lilly senior vice president Jeff Emmick said in a press release. “With efsitora, we have an opportunity to provide an innovative once-weekly solution that safely achieves and maintains A1C control, reduces treatment burden of traditional daily injections and potentially improves adherence for people with diabetes.”

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