OBJECTIVE

To examine the effects of insulin-adjunctive therapy with a sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor and a glucagon receptor antagonist (GRA) on glycemia, insulin use, and ketogenesis during insulinopenia in type 1 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial we assessed the effects of adjunctive SGLT2 inhibitor therapy (dapagliflozin 10 mg daily) alone and in combination with the GRA volagidemab (70 mg weekly) in 12 adults with type 1 diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring, insulin dosing, and insulin withdrawal tests (IWT) for measurement of glucose and ketogenesis during insulinopenia were completed during insulin-only (Baseline), SGLT2 inhibitor, and combination (SGLT2 inhibitor + GRA) therapy periods.

RESULTS

Average glucose and percent time with glucose in range (70–180 mg/dL) improved with combination therapy versus Baseline and SGLT2 inhibitor (131 vs. 150 and 138 mg/dL [P < 0.001 and P = 0.01] and 86% vs. 70% and 78% [P < 0.001 and P = 0.03], respectively) without increased hypoglycemia. Total daily insulin use decreased with combination therapy versus Baseline and SGLT2 inhibitor (0.41 vs. 0.56 and 0.52 units/kg/day [P < 0.001 and P = 0.002]). Peak β-hydroxybutyrate levels during IWT were lower with combination therapy than with SGLT2 inhibitor (2.0 vs. 2.4 mmol/L; P = 0.048) and similar to levels reached during the Baseline testing period (2.1 mmol/L). Participants reported enhanced treatment acceptability and satisfaction with combination therapy.

CONCLUSIONS

Glucagon antagonism enhances the therapeutic effects of SGLT2 inhibition in type 1 diabetes. Combination therapy improves glycemic control, reduces insulin dosing, and suggests a strategy to unlock the benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors while mitigating the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Clinical trial reg. no. NCT04545411, clinicaltrials.gov

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