PharmaIN Corporation and Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute (PNDRI) announced that they are collaborating on a project to evaluate the benefit of combining PharmaIN’s long-acting formulation of native, human GLP¬1 (PGC GLP-1) with sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitor marketed by Merck under the brand name JANUVIA™.
“What we’re looking for with this project is to improve beta cell function with this drug combination. Beta cells are the cells responsible for producing insulin. Improving their function is one of the critical goals in treating diabetes,” said R. Paul Robertson, MD, President and Scientific Director for PNDRI. “Our collaboration with PharmaIN will test the hypothesis that combining sitagliptin with PGC GLP-1 will lead to improved beta cell performance.”
The combination of a PGC GLP-1 formulation with a DPP-IV inhibitor (e.g. sitagliptin) has the potential to raise GLP-1 in the blood to a more beneficial level, as compared to levels achieved by a DPP-IV inhibitor alone.
In addition, the combination may lengthen the half-life of PGC-GLP-1 in vivo and further improve PGC GLP-1 pharmacokinetics curve – potentially improving efficacy and reducing the risk of side effects. The combination may also lower the amount of drug used to achieve the same benefit and sitagliptin could also work synergistically with PGC-GLP-1 by increasing the blood level of other DPP-IV sensitive incretin hormones like GIP.
Overall, the combination could lead to better control of blood sugar, better control of body weight, and/or improved beta cell health than the use of PGC-GLP-1 or sitagliptin alone.