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EASD: Sanofi trumpets sustained Soliqua benefits for GLP-1 switchers

BARCELONA—What happens when diabetes patients get to a point where they need more than a GLP-1 drug can offer? If Sanofi gets its way, they’ll turn to Soliqua.

Tuesday at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting, the French drugmaker rolled out results showing its combo med sustained reductions in blood sugar through the 52-week-mark for patients who’d switched from a GLP-1 drug after more than a year of use.

The single-arm extension study follows up on results showing that among GLP-1 patients whose blood sugar levels exceeded the recommended target, those who jumped to Soliqua were more likely to get their blood sugar levels under control than those who didn’t. In the trial’s first 26 weeks, as previously reported, 62% of patients got their HbA1C—a commonly used metric for blood glucose—below the EASD-recommended target of 7% or less, while just 26% of those who stayed on GLP-1s could say the same. At 52 weeks, 64% of switchers were still below the target.

The trial “explored what to do with patients who have been on a GLP-1 and need more,” David Werner, Sanofi’s global head of insulins, said.

“In a progressive disease like Type 2 diabetes, you always come to a point where you will need more,” and with a “growing class like GLP-1,” what to do next “is becoming a bigger question,” he added. And moreover, it’s one that has “not been explored very much.”

The study also showed that “you get the same benefit regardless” of how long you’ve had diabetes, Werner pointed out, so “in a sense, it’s never too late to take a patient on a GLP-1 who needs more and move them to Soliqua.”
Sanofi hopes docs get the memo and run with it. In 2018, Soliqua pulled in just €73 million in sales ($80.5 million), far below the DKK 1.61 billion ($238.2 million) that Novo Nordisk archrival Xultophy reeled in.