The National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases awarded John Lachin, professor of biostatistics, epidemiology and statistics at George Washington University, a five-year, $134 million grant today to conduct a clinical trial on the long-term effectiveness of four glucose-lowering medications for people with type-2 diabetes. The school announced the grant is the largest in the school’s history.
“For people with type 2 diabetes, this is a compelling need because numerous competing treatments are available,” said Lachin in the school’s release. “While each agent was found to safely and effectively reduce blood glucose for relatively short periods such as six months to a year, type 2 diabetes will usually require continued treatment over a lifetime. GRADE’s primary objective is a direct comparison of the commonly used drugs over a more realistic period of time with regard to glucose lowering, side effects, tolerability, other effects and costs.”
Lachin, who is the interim director of GWU’s Biostatistics Center in Rockville, Md. and lead researcher of the clinical study, is partnered with David Nathan, the director of the Diabetes Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The two are also collaborating with more than 40 clinical centers across the nation for the study. The centers are planning to recruit more than 150 consenting patients each to participate in the study.
During the course of the study entitled “Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness (GRADE) Study,” researchers will be able to administer four medications to approximately 6,000 patients who have experienced a recent onset of type 2 diabetes and track the patients’ outcome.
“This funding is tremendously important to health care as it could result in more effective treatment of diabetes,” Leo Chalupa, vice president for research at GW, said in the release. “An award of this magnitude will increase the future ranking of GW among the country’s research universities and bring us closer to the goal set by President (Steven) Knapp of becoming a top-tier research institution.”
The grant will cover the first five years of the study with the option for an additional three years, pending approval. The clinical study will begin Oct. 1.