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Oral semaglutide reduces HbA1c, weight in Type 2 diabetics, study reveals


HQ Team

June 8, 2023: A new study analyzing the PIONEER (Peptide Innovation for Early Diabetes Treatment) clinical trials data has revealed the effectiveness of orally administered semaglutide in reducing glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and body weight in patients with type 2 diabetes. The study finds that oral semaglutide is a promising treatment option for individuals living with type 2 diabetes over other tested anti-diabetic medicines.

Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) are a class of medicines commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. These medications have proven efficacy in reducing blood glucose levels, promoting weight loss, and providing cardiovascular benefits. Semaglutide, a long-acting GLP-1RA, is typically administered as once-weekly injections or once-daily oral tablets.


The study focused on the data collected from the PIONEER clinical trials that were designed to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of oral semaglutide in type 2 diabetes patients worldwide. The current study involved a total of 3,506 individuals with type 2 diabetes. Participants were randomly assigned to receive semaglutide, placebo, or other anti-diabetic medicines such as empagliflozin, sitagliptin, or liraglutide for a treatment period ranging from 26 to 78 weeks.

The researchers assessed the efficacy of the medications in reducing HbA1c levels and body weight across various background therapies, including diet and exercise, metformin, oral anti-diabetic medicines, or insulin. The target outcomes for successful treatment response were an HbA1c reduction of 1% or more and a body weight reduction of 5% or more.

The analysis of the PIONEER trial data yielded several key findings. Firstly, at the end of treatment, a significantly higher proportion of patients receiving oral semaglutide achieved a 1% or more reduction in HbA1c compared to those treated with other anti-diabetic medicines. Additionally, patients treated with oral semaglutide were significantly more likely to achieve a 5% or more reduction in body weight compared to those treated with sitagliptin or liraglutide. Notably, the therapeutic outcomes were comparable between semaglutide and empagliflozin when it came to body weight reduction.

Furthermore, when considering a body weight reduction of 10% or more at the end of treatment, semaglutide demonstrated a significantly higher treatment response compared to empagliflozin, sitagliptin, or liraglutide. The combined achievement of HbA1c (1% or more) and body weight (5% or more) reduction also showed significantly better treatment response in semaglutide-treated patients compared to those treated with other tested medicines.


HbA1c is a well-established clinical indicator of glycemic control, making these results particularly promising for individuals struggling with type 2 diabetes management.

The researchers also emphasized the significance of measuring multiple distinct outcomes (composite endpoints) to assess the overall efficacy of an intervention. The combined reduction of HbA1c and body weight observed in diabetic patients receiving oral semaglutide strongly underscores its therapeutic efficacy and potential impact on improving patient outcomes.

These findings were published in the journal Diabetes Therapy.

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