INTRODUCTION: Exenatide once weekly (QW) is a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) that was approved in 2012 in Europe and the U.S.A. for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D).
AREA COVERED: This review provides an overview of the safety and efficacy of exenatide QW for the treatment of T2D and evaluates the benefit–risk ratio compared to other available long-acting GLP-1RAs. In addition, the authors provide an outline of the novel formulations and delivery methods of exenatide.
EXPERT OPINION: Exenatide QW is an efficacious and safe treatment for T2D. However, head-to-head trials have demonstrated exenatide QW to be inferior to liraglutide and semaglutide with respect to effects on fasting plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin A1c, and bodyweight. In addition, exenatide QW appears inferior to liraglutide and semaglutide in terms of cardiovascular risk reduction. Currently, the overall risk-benefit profiles for the range of GLP-1RAs point to liraglutide and semaglutide as first-choice for the management of T2D, which has been confirmed by a recently published consensus report on the treatment of T2D from the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The pricing of exenatide QW will most likely be a key determinant for its place in the future management of T2D.