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Acetyl-L-Carnitine in Type 2 Diabetes (DIABASI)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00984750
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 25, 2009
Last Update Posted : February 25, 2013
Leadiant Biosciences, Inc.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research

Brief Summary:

Decreased insulin sensitivity (or insulin resistance) is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus and renal and cardiovascular disease. It is the key component and, possibly, a pathogenetic factor of the metabolic syndrome - a clustering of arterial hypertension, obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, coagulation abnormalities, albuminuria and increased cardiovascular risk - that may precede or accompany type 2 diabetes.

Insulin function and the abnormalities associated with insulin resistance, may have a major role in preventing type 2 diabetes and, in the long-term, diabetes micro- and macrovascular complications. Carnitine is involved in lipids and carbohydrates metabolism and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), an intramitochondrial carrier of acylic group, may modulate cell fuel substrate utilization. Studies found that carnitine may improve insulin sensitivity and glucose disposal in healthy subjects and in patients with type 2 diabetes. A recent study found that a primed constant infusion of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) may increase glucose utilization in type 2 diabetic patients, possibly restoring the glycogen synthase activity.

In a previous pilot study in healthy subjects with decreased insulin sensitivity, the investigators found that 6-month treatment with Acetyl-L-Carnitine - an ester of l-carnitine - improved the glucose disposal rate, taken as a marker of insulin sensitivity. Amelioration of insulin sensitivity was associated with a significant and clinically relevant reduction in systolic blood pressure without appreciable changes in diastolic blood pressure. Whether blood pressure reduction reflected the amelioration of insulin sensitivity or, rather, a direct, specific effect of Acetyl-L-Carnitine is still unknown.The antihypertensive effect ensued progressively and slowly waned after treatment withdrawal as documented by a slow and progressive increase in blood pressure levels toward baseline levels over the recovery period. This finding provided convincing evidence that blood pressure reduction throughout the observation period was not explained by a "trial effect", but reflected a true treatment effect. Blood pressure was a secondary efficacy variable of the study and mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive effect of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (such as reduced peripheral resistances, decreased cardiac output, increased artery compliance and/or enhanced sodium excretion), in this population were not assessed.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine was well tolerated in all of the patients and may provide a novel therapeutic tool for the treatment of arterial hypertension, and of dyslipidemia and could be safely used in people with type 2 diabetes.

Thus, the investigators designed a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to investigate whether Acetyl-L-Carnitine added-on stable and standardized blood pressure and lipid lowering therapy may help further improving control of hypertension and dyslipidemia and, therefore, decreasing the overall cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Diabetes Type 2 Hypertension Drug: acetyl-L-carnitine/statin (simvastatin) Drug: placebo Phase 3

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 229 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial to Evaluate the Effect of 6-month Acetylcarnitine Therapy on Arterial Blood Pressure, Lipid and Metabolic Profile, and Kidney Function in Hypertensive Patients With Type 2 Diabetes on Background Simvastatin Therapy
Study Start Date : April 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2012

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1
Statin and acetyl-L-carnitine
Drug: acetyl-L-carnitine/statin (simvastatin)

acetyl-L-carnitine: 4 tablets of 500 mg a day

simvastatin: 10 to 20 mg/day as deemed clinically appropriate and according to tolerability

Placebo Comparator: 2
Statin and placebo
Drug: placebo
placebo: 4 tablets of 500 mg a day simvastatin: 10 to 20 mg/day as deemed clinically appropriate and according to tolerability

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Arterial blood pressure and dyslipidemia [ Time Frame: Basal, 15th day, 30th day, 3rd and 6th month ]

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Ages Eligible for Study:   40 Years to 85 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Males and females >40 years old;
  • High-risk subjects with type 2 diabetes (WHO criteria);
  • High blood pressure (systolic blood pressure >140 mmHg or with concomitant antihypertensive treatment stable since at least 3 months);
  • Serum creatinine concentration <1.5 mg/dl;
  • Patients legally able to give written informed consent to the trial (signed and dated by the patient);
  • Written informed consent.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes (glycated hemoglobin >11%);
  • Acute cardiovascular events over the last 3 months;
  • Specific contraindications or history of hypersensitivity to the study drugs;
  • Previous history of allergy or intolerance, or evidence of immunologically-mediated renal disease, systemic diseases, cancer;
  • Drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Any chronic clinical conditions that may affect completion of the trial or confound data interpretation;
  • Pregnancy or lactating;
  • Women of childbearing potential without following a scientifically accepted form of contraception;
  • Legal incapacity and/or other circumstances rendering the patient unable to understand the nature, scope and possible consequence of the trial;
  • Evidence of an uncooperative attitude;
  • Any evidence that patient will not be able to complete the trial follow-up.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00984750

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Hospital "Azienda Ospedaliera di Treviglio e Caravaggio" Ambulatory of Diabetology
Ponte San Pietro, Bergamo, Italy, 24036
Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases "Aldo and Cele Daccò"
Ranica, Bergamo, Italy, 24020
Hospital "Azienda Ospedaliera di Treviglio-Caravaggio"Unit of Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases
Romano di Lombardia, Bergamo, Italy
Hospital "Azienda Ospedaliera di Treviglio-Caravaggio" Unit of Diabetology and Metabolic Disease
Treviglio, Bergamo, Italy
Hospital "Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedali Riunitidi Bergamo" Unit of Diabetology
Bergamo, Italy, 24100
Sponsors and Collaborators
Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
Leadiant Biosciences, Inc.
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Study Director: Piero Ruggenenti, MD Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
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Responsible Party: Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00984750    
Other Study ID Numbers: DIABASI
2007-005925-31 ( EudraCT Number )
First Posted: September 25, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 25, 2013
Last Verified: February 2013
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases
Anticholesteremic Agents
Hypolipidemic Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Lipid Regulating Agents
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Vitamin B Complex
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Nootropic Agents