Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014 Oct;16(10):910-21. doi: 10.1111/dom.12294. Epub 2014 Apr 27.

The glucagon-like peptide-1-based therapeutics exenatide and saxagliptin did not cause detrimental effects on the pancreas in mice, rats, dogs and monkeys.

Author information

Nonclinical Drug Safety, Amylin LLC, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, San Diego, CA, USA.



Recent reports in the literature have suggested that glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)-based therapies may lead to increased risk of pancreatic pathology leading to chronic pancreatic injury and pancreatic neoplasia. Extensive non-clinical and clinical safety testing was conducted to support the global development of exenatide twice daily, exenatide once weekly and saxagliptin. Our aim was to integrate these non-clinical data obtained with both mechanisms of GLP-1-based drugs to provide complementary data regarding the potential for drug-induced pancreatic safety signals.


More than 70 regulated non-clinical toxicology studies in rodents and non-rodents were conducted in accordance with International Conference on Harmonisation and US Food and Drug Administration guidance documents, current industry standards, animal welfare regulations and in compliance with Good Laboratory Practice regulations. Treatment duration was up to 2 years in rodents and up to 12 months in non-rodents using high doses representing large multiples of human exposures (up to 130× for exenatide and 2200× for saxagliptin). Comprehensive pancreas assessments involved more than 2400 pancreata from animals exposed to exenatide and over 1700 pancreata from animals exposed to saxagliptin.


Neither exenatide nor saxagliptin treatment resulted in drug-related microscopic changes indicative of acute or chronic adverse effects (including neoplasia) in the endocrine or exocrine pancreas, at doses far exceeding the maximum human systemic exposures.


These data substantially add to the weight of evidence supporting the lack of non-clinical drug-induced pancreatic safety signals in animals exposed to GLP-1-based therapies.


DPP4; GLP-1; exenatide; saxagliptin

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center