November 11, 2011
Novartis diabetes drug vildagliptin provides unique therapeutic benefits, says expert
- Vildagliptin belongs to a class of oral anti-diabetes drugs called DDP-4 inhibitors. It works by enhancing the action of natural hormones that control blood sugar levels.
- Vildagliptin provides unique therapeutic benefits that make it an ideal treatment for type 2 diabetes, according to Professor James E. Foley, an expert who is part of the Novartis team that pioneered research on this relatively new class of oral anti-diabetes drugs.
- Foley was the guest speaker during a recent scientific forum organized by Novartis Philippines and attended by top local endocrinologists and diabetologists.
The Novartis diabetes drug vildagliptin provides unique therapeutic benefits that make it an ideal treatment for type 2 diabetes, according to an expert who is part of the Novartis team that pioneered research on this relatively new class of oral anti-diabetes drugs.
“Vildagliptin has a unique chemical structure and kinetics [the way a molecule behaves in a chemical reaction] that enables it to provide many therapeutic benefits and exert a long duration of action in controlling blood sugar levels among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” said Professor James E. Foley, PhD, Principal Medical and Scientific Expert in Diabetes, Novartis Global Medical Affairs.
Foley was the guest speaker during a scientific forum organized by Novartis Healthcare Philippines on October 11, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila in Quezon City. Entitled “Incretin Update: Focus on Vildagliptin”, the forum was attended by top local endocrinologists and diabetologists.
Vildagliptin enhances body’ natural blood sugar control mechanism
Vildagliptin belongs to a class of oral anti-diabetes drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors. It works by increasing the amount of two incretin hormones found in the body, called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP). Normally produced by the body in response to food intake, these hormones help control blood sugar levels in two ways.
GLP-1 and GIP stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin in response to increasing levels of glucose in the blood. Insulin is the main hormone responsible for controlling sugar levels in the blood by enabling cells in the body to remove sugar from the blood. GLP-1 also reduces the production of glucagon, a hormone that normally increases glucose production by the liver.
However, GLP-1 and GIP are rapidly broken down by an enzyme in the body called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 or DPP-4. Vildagliptin works by binding to DPP-4 and preventing the enzyme from breaking down and inactivating GLP-1 and GIP. By inhibiting DPP-4, vildagliptin increases the levels of GLP-1 and GIP in the body thereby increasing their effect on blood sugar control.
Unique therapeutic benefits
According to Foley, a large number of clinical studies and extensive clinical experience demonstrate that vildagliptin provides unique therapeutic benefits that make the drug an ideal treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Unlike other classes of oral anti-diabetes drugs, vildagliptin does not induce weight gain and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). “As single or combination therapy, vildagliptin is recommended for patients who do not achieve optimal blood sugar control or experience adverse effects with other oral anti-diabetes drugs,” Foley said.
Vildagliptin is safe and well tolerated, said Foley. “In over 14,000 patients studied in controlled clinical trials and over 2 million patients years exposure, no treatment-emergent adverse effects associated with vildagliptin have been identified.”
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