The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Victoza (liraglutide) injection for treatment of pediatric patients 10 years or older with type 2 diabetes. Victoza is the first non-insulin drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes in pediatric patients since metformin was approved for pediatric use in 2000. Victoza has been approved to treat adult patients with type 2 diabetes since 2010.
“The FDA encourages drugs to be made available to the widest number of patients possible when there is evidence of safety and efficacy,” said Lisa Yanoff, M.D, acting director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Victoza has now been shown to improve blood sugar control in pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes. The expanded indication provides an additional treatment option at a time when an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with this disease.”
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, occurring when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Although type 2 diabetes primarily occurs in patients over the age of 45, the prevalence rate among younger patients has been rising dramatically over the past couple of decades. The Diabetes Report Card published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 5,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes are diagnosed each year among U.S. youth younger than age 20.
Victoza improves blood sugar levels by creating the same effects in the body as the glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor protein in the pancreas. GLP-1 is often found in insufficient levels in type 2 diabetes patients. Like GLP-1, Victoza slows digestion, prevents the liver from making too much glucose (a simple sugar), and helps the pancreas produce more insulin when needed. As noted on the label, Victoza is not a substitute for insulin and is not indicated for patients with type 1 diabetes or those with diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition associated with diabetes where the body breaks down fat too quickly because there is inadequate insulin or none at all. Victoza is also indicated to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease; however, its effect on major adverse cardiovascular events in pediatrics was not studied and it is not indicated for this use in children…