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Leicester research team trial new drug for people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease


The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Patient Recruitment Centre (PRC), Leicester is running a clinical research trial looking at a new drug for treating people with type 2 diabetes.

The trial looks at whether using the new drug tirzepatide helps to reduce the risk of heart disease for people with type 2 diabetes, compared to dulaglutide, which is already an approved diabetes medication shown to treat diabetes and reduce heart and kidney disease. People with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to suffer from disease of the heart and blood vessels than adults without diabetes.

Previous research has confirmed that tirzepatide is effective for patients with diabetes as it lower the amount of glucose, and can help people lose significant weight. Researchers now want to find out if tirzepatide can also help protect against heart disease, making it a better overall drug for patients with type 2 diabetes.

This international study aims to enrol 12,500 volunteers, of which up to 200 are expected to be in the UK, and will last for up to five or six years. Participants will have type 2 diabetes, be aged 40 or over with a history of cardiovascular disease and are overweight or obese.

Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester and Clinical Director of NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre, Leicester, says: “Despite being in the midst of a global pandemic, it is important that we continue to conduct research into better treatments to help those living with chronic disease, like diabetes.

“The beauty of this trial is that all participants will receive an effective treatment for diabetes as we already know that both of these medications work well to control glucose in the blood, but it is thought that this new medication, tirzepatide could protect the heart and blood vessels, and produce great weight loss. Tirzepatide is the first in a new class of medicines to tackle diabetes and heart disease, and has already shown very promising results in other research studies, so we’re pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to local people living with type 2 diabetes.

“It has been shown that research-active hospital trusts have improved outcomes for patients and through our new PRC, we are delighted to be able to offer new therapies like this to the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”

The PRC is one of five in England, dedicated to setting up and delivering late phase commercial clinical trials in the NHS at pace and scale. PRC Leicester is hosted by the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and based at Leicester General Hospital.

Recruitment to this study is now closed.

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