EASD: Europe’s Large Diabetes Shindig

Since we have a tendency to be pretty America-centric over here, we wanted to shine a spotlight over the yearly conference for the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), which will be Europe’s equivalent to the American Diabetes Association. EASD is a huge expert org for doctors, researchers, nurses, and students, etc, with 7,000 members — from 110 distinct countries!

In addition to the yearly conference, the EASD also produces their particular trade book, Diabetologia, and members are divided into small “research groups” that focus on specific problems, like the artificial pancreas, cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes and genetics.

But their large yearly conference every autumn is what has got the most attention from the side of the pond. 18,000 attendees (bigger than the ADA!) Are gathering this week, Sept. 12-16, in Lisbon, Portugal. We’re sadly missing out on the fun (though we’re certainly keeping busy with our own Diabetes Innovation Summit event coming up) . Fortunately, the EASD is using social networking, so you can stick to the seminar by following EASD on Twitter or track the Twitter hashtag #easd2011 to keep tabs on what’s occurring.

Like the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions seminar that people reported on in June, the majority of the corporate announcements so far involve drugs such as type 2 diabetes.

* Sanofi-Aventis started off the week with two announcements:

– Insulin has a massive fear factor element for many people with type 2, but Sanofi says it’s great news: Type 2 diabetics who take Lantus show better blood glucose control and possess a similar weight gain compared with other insulins, oral meds or even just making dietary modifications. They noted the weight gain has been “least noticeable” when the PWD’s A1c was below 8 percent.

– Sanofi’s Lyxumia (lixisenatide), a GLP-1 class medication, had favorable outcomes at the conclusion of its GetGoal-L clinical trial, which will be one of nine trials in the sweeping GetGoal Stage III clinical plan — a massive initiative testing the efficacy and safety of the new medication versus various oral drugs or insulin. Lyxumia was shown to decrease A1c levels when taken once per day with a adrenal insulin, compared to patients who had used a placebo add-in using metformin.

* But things may not be looking really sexy for the GLP-1 class of drugs on the entire world. Back in July, a paper was published by Dr. Peter Butler of UCLA, linking GLP-1 drugs with pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Today, researchers will debate with the methodology of the Butler paper, and if it’s true or complicated by variables like reporting prejudice. We will definitely keep an eye on this and discuss the outcome when it’s accessible!

* Kelly Close from Close Concerns delivered us a note sharing her excitement at hearing potential news about Qnexa, a brand new anti-obesity medication that has potential for diabetes. Qnexa is a low-dose blend of controlled-release phentermine (yep – the exact same ingredient in the notorious diet medication fen-phen!) and topiramatean. It was among three anti-obesity drugs whose FDA program was refused earlier this year, but that does not mean California-based developer Vivus is rolling softly. The unpronouncable Qnexa is supposed to be safe since it contains only half the amount of phentermine of the previous medication, combined with an entirely different compound.

However, the FDA is requiring an additional two-year security study. Vivus remains currently in Phase III clinical trials, but data seems so promising that some doctors are already prescribing generic topiramate. Weight loss drugs are a Holy Grail for many type two diabetes and pre-diabetes patients, so hopefully a few positive news comes out of this soon!

* Amylin, Lilly, and Massachusetts-based Alkermes published the analyses from two trials for Bydureon, the extended-release model of exenatide (aka Byetta). The diagnoses are favorable, showing improvements in certain cardiovascular disease, including weight, blood pressure and blood lipids, compared to individuals on other common form two drugs. Considering the fantastic concern the FDA has over cardiovascular side effects for diabetes drugs, this is a fantastic sign.

So far, there’s very limited news on anything related to type 1 diabetes… mainly since the latest products like the Animas Vibe along with the Medtronic Minimed VEO have already been out in Europe for awhile now, however are still stalled stateside at the FDA. *Le sigh*

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog concentrated on the diabetes community. The content isn’t medically reviewed and does not stick to Healthline’s editorial instructions. For more information regarding Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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