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Diabetologia. 2011 Aug;54(8):1985-91. doi: 10.1007/s00125-011-2167-8. Epub 2011 May 6.

Beta cell function following 1 year vildagliptin or placebo treatment and after 12 week washout in drug-naive patients with type 2 diabetes and mild hyperglycaemia: a randomised controlled trial.

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Novartis Pharmaceutical Cooperation, Clinical Research and Development, One Health Plaza, East Hanover, NJ 07936, USA.



Traditional blood glucose lowering agents do not prevent the progressive loss of beta cell function in patients with type 2 diabetes. The dipeptidylpeptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitor vildagliptin improves beta cell function both acutely and chronically (up to 2 years). Whether this effect persists after cessation of treatment remains unknown. Here, we assessed the insulin secretory capacity in drug-naive patients with type 2 diabetes after a 52 week treatment period with vildagliptin or placebo, and again after a 12 week washout period.


This study was conducted at a single university medical centre, and was a double-blind, randomised clinical trial in 59 drug-naive patients with type 2 diabetes and mild hyperglycaemia to either vildagliptin 100 mg (n = 29) or placebo (n = 30). Randomisation was performed by a validated 1:1 system. Neither patient, nor caregiver, was informed about the assigned treatment. Inclusion criteria were drug-naive patients ≥30 years, with HbA(1c) ≤7.5% and BMI of 22-45 kg/m(2). The mildly hyperglycaemic patient population was chosen to minimise glucose toxicity as a confounding variable. Beta-cell function was measured during an arginine-stimulated hyperglycaemic clamp at week 0, week 52 and after a 12 week washout period. All patients with at least one post-randomisation measure were analysed (intent-to-treat).


Fifty-two week vildagliptin 100 mg (n = 26) treatment increased the primary efficacy variable, combined hyperglycaemia and arginine-stimulated C-peptide secretion (AIR(arg)), by 5.0 ± 1.8 nmol/l × min, while it decreased by 0.8 ± 1.8 nmol/l × min with placebo (n = 25) (between-group difference p = 0.030). No significant between-group difference in AIR(arg) was seen after the 12 week washout period. The between-group difference adjusted mean 52 week changes from baseline was -0.19 ± 0.11, p = 0.098 and -0.22 ± 0.23%, p = 0.343 for HbA(1c) and fasting plasma glucose, respectively. There were no suspected drug treatment-related serious adverse events.


One year treatment with vildagliptin significantly increased beta cell secretory capacity. This effect was not maintained after the washout, indicating that this increased capacity was not a disease modifying effect on beta cell mass and/or function.


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