(HealthDay News) – For patients with type 2 diabetes who do not respond to diet or metformin treatment, selective pharmacological activation of the free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFAR1) by TAK-875 improves glycemic control, according to a phase 2 study published online Feb. 27 in The Lancet.

Charles F. Burant, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues randomly assigned 426 patients with type 2 diabetes who had not responded to diet or metformin treatment to receive TAK-875 (303 patients), placebo (61), or glimepiride (62) for 12 weeks.

The researchers found that, at week 12, there were significant least-squares mean reductions in hemoglobin A1c from baseline in all patients in the TAK-875 and glimepiride groups compared with placebo. For TAK-875 and placebo, the treatment-emergent hypoglycemic events rates were similar (2% and 3%, respectively), but the rate was significantly higher in the glimepiride group (19%). There was a similar incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events in the TAK-875 and placebo groups (49% and 48%, respectively), but more events were seen in the glimepiride group (61%).

“TAK-875 significantly improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes with minimum risk of hypoglycemia. The results show that activation of FFAR1 is a viable therapeutic target for treatment of type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

All of the authors disclosed ties to Takeda Global Research and Development, which funded the study and manufactures TAK-875.

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