Several groups are developing fully integrated dual-hormone artificial pancreas systems, which deliver insulin or glucagon in response to changes in glucose to maintain euglycemia. These systems hold the potential to transform management of type 1 diabetes, but in order to be realized these systems require a stable-in-solution glucagon analog suitable for chronic use. Dasiglucagon is a novel glucagon analog stable in liquid formulation. The present studies evaluated safety and tolerability of chronically administered dasiglucagon in rats and dogs.
Rats and dogs were dosed s.c. daily for 26 and 39 weeks, respectively, in 4 groups of 20 rats with 0 (vehicle), 0.5, 2, or 8 mg/kg/day; 4 groups of 4 beagle dogs with 0, 0.02, 0.1, or 0.3 mg/kg/day.
Glucose and insulin levels increased in a dose-dependent manner in all treated animals. In dogs, heart rate increased at the 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg/day dose level. Liver and kidney weights increased at all dose levels for in both species, and microscopic pathology demonstrated increase in hepatocyte glycogen vacuolation and increase in chronic progressive nephropathy (a normal finding in aging rats). Heart weights increased with no histopathological correlate. All findings showed full/partial recovery after 4-week treatment free periods. Some animals developed anti-drug-antibodies but with no apparent effect on pharmacodynamics. The NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level) dose of 2 mg/kg/day in rats and 0.1 mg/kg/day in dogs represents exposure multiples (AUC) of 22 and 2 compared to anticipated human doses of up to 1 mg/day.
Chronic administration of dasiglucagon multiple times above relevant human doses was well tolerated. All findings were consistent with the known pharmacological effects of glucagon. The risk of glycogen accumulation is not considered relevant for humans treated with dasiglucagon to maintain euglycemia. These findings support long-term human testing of dasiglucagon in dual-hormonal artificial pancreas systems.
J.R. Castle: Consultant; Self; Zealand Pharma A/S. Advisory Panel; Self; Novo Nordisk Inc. M. Elander: Employee; Self; Zealand Pharma A/S. S.A. O'Halloran: None.