Background/Objective: Currently available glucagon products for rescue treatment of severe hypoglycemia require cumbersome multistep reconstitution and injection procedures in an emergency situation. Nasal glucagon (NG) is a nasally administered, single-use, drug-device combination containing 3 mg glucagon dry powder. We aimed to evaluate noninferiority of NG to intramuscular glucagon (IMG) for treatment of insulin-induced hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (T1D/T2D) (NCT03421379).

Methods: This was a randomized, two-period, crossover trial with NG and IMG. Hypoglycemia was induced by an intravenous insulin infusion; insulin was stopped once plasma glucose (PG) reached <60 mg/dL. Approximately 5 minutes (min) after stopping insulin either 3 mg NG or 1 mg IMG was administered followed by PG measurements up to 4 hours. Treatment success was defined as an increase in PG to ≥70 mg/dL or an increase of ≥20 mg/dL from the PG nadir within 30 min after receiving glucagon. Spontaneously reported adverse events (AEs) and a Nasal and Non-Nasal Symptom Questionnaire (NNSQ) assessed local tolerability of NG.

Results: Of the 68 evaluable patients (T1D 32, T2D 36) who received both NG and IMG, all patients achieved treatment success with a mean time of 12.0 min (NG) and 11.0 min (IMG). Noninferiority of NG to IMG was demonstrated. PG responses were similar between T1D and T2D. During the treatment period 26 treatment-emergent AEs (TEAEs) occurred with NG and 13 with IMG. Most TEAEs were mild in severity and none was severe. TEAEs with an incidence ≥5% were rhinalgia (NG 8.5%, IMG 0%), nausea (NG 5.6%, IMG 11.4%), and blood pressure increase (NG 5.6%, IMG 0%). With NG, very common (≥10%) symptoms from NNSQ were watery eyes and nasal congestion.

Conclusion: NG was noninferior compared to IMG for the treatment of insulin-induced hypoglycemia in Japanese patients with T1D/T2D supporting the use of NG as a rescue treatment for severe hypoglycemia.


M. Matsuhisa: Advisory Panel; Self; Eli Lilly and Company. Board Member; Self; Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited. Research Support; Self; Astellas Pharma Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation. Speaker's Bureau; Self; Astellas Pharma Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Novo Nordisk Inc., Sanofi, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Y. Takita: Employee; Self; Eli Lilly and Company. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Eli Lilly and Company. R. Nasu: None. K. Ohwaki: Employee; Self; Eli Lilly and Company. H. Nagashima: None.

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