Aileen Kinsella

Director, Segment Marketing, Pharma

July 31, 2017

Growth in GLP-1 Drugs May Offer Improved Outcomes to People with Type II Diabetes

The rise in type 2 diabetes has sparked a variety of treatment options, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. GLP-1s are a class of injected drugs (additional oral options are currently in development) that “mimic the action of GLP-1 and increase the incretin effect in patients with type 2 diabetes, stimulating the release of insulin.”1 Commonly used when oral treatment alone is not enough, the benefits of GLP-1s include a reduction of glucagon and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), weight loss and a low risk of hypoglycemia.2

 

 A patient with diabetes injecting themselves using a auto-injector

Current GLP-1 receptor agonists include liraglutide, dulaglutide and exenatide. These long-acting GLP-1s are generally well tolerated by patients, and may be taken once daily or weekly.3 Various GLP-1s are proving to have other therapeutic benefits, such as cardiovascular health, weight loss and more.4 Market leaders include Novo Nordisk’s Victoza, and Lilly’s Trulicity.5

As injectable products, GLP-1s are commonly delivered using insulin pens or auto-injectors. When taken in combination with oral therapies, the GLP-1 class may help to stave off the onset of insulin-dependent diabetes. There are also other interesting combination drugs in development with GLP-1s – including combinations with insulin (some are already on the market) or with glucagon. Oral GLP-1 drugs, e.g. Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide in Phase III development, are also demonstrating positive results. 6

West currently partners with customers to develop and manufacture containment and delivery solutions for this class of drug. From primary containment options, including vials, cartridges and pre-fillable syringes, to delivery systems and contract manufacturing of glucose monitoring systems, West supports the delivery of diabetes care to more than 60 million diabetes patients every day.

To learn more about how West can help, contact us today.