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03-24-2018 | Semaglutide | Article

A Network Meta-Analysis Comparing Semaglutide Once-Weekly with Other GLP-1 Receptor Agonists in Japanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes Therapy

Authors: Neil Webb, Michelle Orme, Michal Witkowski, Rie Nakanishi, Jakob Langer

Publisher: Springer Healthcare



Semaglutide once-weekly (QW) is a novel glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue administered at a 0.5 or 1.0 mg dose. In the absence of head-to-head trials between semaglutide QW and other GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) in a Japanese population, a network meta-analysis (NMA) was performed. The objective was to assess the relative efficacy and safety of semaglutide QW vs GLP-1 RAs in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), with a specific focus on the comparison between semaglutide 0.5 mg QW and dulaglutide 0.75 mg QW.


A systematic review (SR) and supplementary Japanese searches were conducted to identify trials of GLP-1 RAs in Japanese patients on diet and exercise, who have previously received 0–1 oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs). Data at 52–56 weeks were extracted for the following outcomes (feasible for analysis in an NMA): glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), weight, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and overall hypoglycemia. The data were synthesized using an NMA and a Bayesian framework.


Four trials, identified from the SR and Japanese-specific searches, were relevant for inclusion in the NMA. When compared to dulaglutide 0.75 mg QW, semaglutide 0.5 mg QW was shown to provide significant reductions in HbA1c [− 0.61% (12.3 mmol/mol)], weight (− 1.45 kg), SBP (− 5.03 mmHg), and FPG (− 1.26 mmol/L). No significant differences in the proportion of patients achieving a HbA1c level < 7% (53 mmol/mol) or the risk of overall hypoglycemia were observed between semaglutide 0.5 mg QW and dulaglutide 0.75 mg QW.


Overall, semaglutide 0.5 mg QW was associated with significant reductions from baseline in HbA1c, weight, SBP, and FPG compared with dulaglutide 0.75 mg QW in Japanese patients with T2DM. These data may provide valuable evidence for clinical decision-making, cost-effectiveness analyses, and health technology appraisal (HTA) requirements.


Novo Nordisk Pharma Ltd.

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