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Lancet. 2009 Jul 4;374(9683):39-47. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60659-0. Epub 2009 Jun 8.

Liraglutide once a day versus exenatide twice a day for type 2 diabetes: a 26-week randomised, parallel-group, multinational, open-label trial (LEAD-6).

Collaborators (133)

Ahmed A, Alvarsson M, Anderson C, Aoki A, Aranko S, Bailey B, Barbonta D, Baur C, Bednarczyk-Kaluzny M, Blevins T, Blonde L, Bode B, Bressler P, Brusco O, Buse JB, Byrd L, Byrne M, Caldarella F, Cheatham W, Christ E, Christiansen JS, Comas LM, Cooper J, Corder C, Corser B, Courreges JP, Creteanu G, Cuddihy R, Derezinski T, Downey H, Duckor S, Eidenmüller M, Elliott S, Farrell J, Fusco F, Gaczarek-Belczyk E, Gallwitz B, Garber A, Gerber P, Gibney J, Glodowska K, Gollapudi G, Gouet D, Greco S, Grill V, Gudnason S, Guerci B, Gumprecht J, Henriksen JE, Hermansen K, Hippler S, Hoekstra J, Hoffman B, Hollander P, Jaeckel E, Jain R, Janez A, Kaiser M, Kaladas J, Kapoor A, Kayne D, Keller U, Kempe HP, Klein E, Klonoff D, Koehler L, Korytkowski M, Laine DH, Le Devehat C, Lervang HH, Levinson L, Lewin A, Lilavivat U, Lipetz R, Lubin B, Luedemann J, Madsbad S, Mäkelä J, Marck C, Matejek N, Menéndez E, Montanya E, Milenkovic T, Mira R, Moberg E, Musat D, Nolan J, Ollins R, Ortiz-Carrasquillo R, Osei K, Peterson G, Philippe J, Pietri A, Piletic M, Polaszewska-Muszynska M, Pollock J, Prager R, Radparvar A, Ratcliff L, Reed J, Reeves M, Rock K, Rosenstock J, Sall K, Schabowski J, Schernthaner G, Schmidt WE, Schwartz S, Segiet T, Serfer G, Sieradzki J, Smith D, Søfteland E, Solano FV, Stasinska T, Staut M, Stearns P, Stoll M, Strand J, Tamayo R, Toplak H, Townsend R, Vaag A, Vance C, Wascher T, Weinstein R, Weiss D, Wendisch U, Wenzl-Bauer V, Whittier F, Wizemann E, Yeoman G, Yki-Järvinen H.

Author information

Division of Endocrinology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.



Unlike most antihyperglycaemic drugs, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have a glucose-dependent action and promote weight loss. We compared the efficacy and safety of liraglutide, a human GLP-1 analogue, with exenatide, an exendin-based GLP-1 receptor agonist.


Adults with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes on maximally tolerated doses of metformin, sulphonylurea, or both, were stratified by previous oral antidiabetic therapy and randomly assigned to receive additional liraglutide 1.8 mg once a day (n=233) or exenatide 10 microg twice a day (n=231) in a 26-week open-label, parallel-group, multinational (15 countries) study. The primary outcome was change in glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)). Efficacy analyses were by intention to treat. The trial is registered with, number NCT00518882.


Mean baseline HbA(1c) for the study population was 8.2%. Liraglutide reduced mean HbA(1c) significantly more than did exenatide (-1.12% [SE 0.08] vs -0.79% [0.08]; estimated treatment difference -0.33; 95% CI -0.47 to -0.18; p<0.0001) and more patients achieved a HbA(1c) value of less than 7% (54%vs 43%, respectively; odds ratio 2.02; 95% CI 1.31 to 3.11; p=0.0015). Liraglutide reduced mean fasting plasma glucose more than did exenatide (-1.61 mmol/L [SE 0.20] vs -0.60 mmol/L [0.20]; estimated treatment difference -1.01 mmol/L; 95% CI -1.37 to -0.65; p<0.0001) but postprandial glucose control was less effective after breakfast and dinner. Both drugs promoted similar weight losses (liraglutide -3.24 kg vs exenatide -2.87 kg). Both drugs were well tolerated, but nausea was less persistent (estimated treatment rate ratio 0.448, p<0.0001) and minor hypoglycaemia less frequent with liraglutide than with exenatide (1.93 vs 2.60 events per patient per year; rate ratio 0.55; 95% CI 0.34 to 0.88; p=0.0131; 25.5%vs 33.6% had minor hypoglycaemia). Two patients taking both exenatide and a sulphonylurea had a major hypoglycaemic episode.


Liraglutide once a day provided significantly greater improvements in glycaemic control than did exenatide twice a day, and was generally better tolerated. The results suggest that liraglutide might be a treatment option for type 2 diabetes, especially when weight loss and risk of hypoglycaemia are major considerations.


Novo Nordisk A/S.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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