UAB investigators are studying the long-term benefits and risks of four widely used diabetes drugs in combination with metformin, the most common first-line medication for treating type 2 diabetes. Recruitment of volunteers for the project, called the Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness (GRADE) Study, begins in June.
GRADE (ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT01794143) is supported under NIH grant U01DK098246. Additional support in the form of donation of supplies comes from the National Diabetes Education Program, Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk, Merck, BD Medical and Roche Diagnostics.
The UAB Diabetes Research Center (DRC), directed by W. Timothy Garvey, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences and co-primary investigator for the GRADE study at UAB, will host the study. The DRC features researchers from the schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Public Health, among other units.
GRADE aims to enroll about 5,000 patients at UAB and 36 other sites. Researchers are seeking people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the last five years. Participants may be on metformin, but not on any other diabetes medication. During the study, all participants will take metformin, along with a second medication randomly assigned from among four classes of medications, all approved for use with metformin by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.