In Categories: Economic Impact

Today, I have the exciting privilege to announce that two year results from Virta’s ongoing clinical trial are now peer-reviewed and published in Frontiers in Endocrinology!

Before getting into the results, I want to thank all of our clinical trial patients for their ongoing commitment to the Virta clinical trial. Virta’s success is a co-production: diabetes reversal depends on the work of our team and our patients. We would not have this news to share today without the choice made by women and men like Nina and Andy — and hundreds of others — to join this clinical trial three years ago.

As for the results, they speak to the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of the Virta treatment. There are so many reasons that I am excited about them, but here is a distillation of my top three:

1. Rapid diabetes reversal with 2 year sustainability in all key indicators

We’ve already shown in our earlier published results that we can reverse type 2 diabetes rapidly in under 10 weeks and sustain at 1 year. Now, we are proving that the Virta Treatment can be sustained for 2 years: 55% percent of patients who completed two years of the Virta clinical trial achieved diabetes reversal, which means they naturally lowered their blood sugar below the threshold for diabetes diagnosis and made the elimination of expensive, diabetes-specific medications a necessity.

Just as exciting is the fact that 74% of all patients who began the clinical trial were still taking part in the Virta Treatment. As context, 20% of new prescriptions for chronic diseases go unfilled, and among those filled, approximately 50% are taken incorrectly. In other words, our patients are more likely to follow the Virta Treatment than the average person is to just “take a pill”.

When considering these results, it is also worth noting that these patients began the trial with an average starting A1c above 7.5% and had lived with diabetes on average for 8 years before starting our clinical trial. Some patients, like Nina, had been on insulin for 20 years before starting Virta. So these patients weren’t just recently diagnosed with T2D, making it much harder to achieve diabetes reversal and sustain it.

These sustainable (and transformational!) health improvements fly in the face of recent news about how the overall cost of type 2 diabetes in the US grew from $245 billion in 2012 to $404 billion in 2017. Virta Treatment is now a scientifically proven treatment to this massive problem.

2. The need for diabetes-specific medications continues to drop, even at 2 years

Typically type 2 diabetes is treated as a chronic, progressive disease and even under the best traditional care, the need for diabetes medications increases over time. In contrast, on Virta, for the entire trial group who completed two years, 67% of all diabetes-specific prescriptions were eliminated at two years. Of the patients that began the trial on insulin, more than 90% reduced or eliminated their insulin dosage and improved their HbA1c at the same time. All patients also discontinued taking sulfonylureas. These two medication classes, insulin and sulfonylureas, are particularly exciting because both increase the risk of weight gain and dangerous hypoglycemia.

The average daily insulin dosage for Virta patients began at 81.9 units/day at baseline and dropped to 15.5 units/day at two years.

It is also worth noting that patients who began the trial on insulin were spending on average an estimated medication cost of $10,461 per year, so these sustained reductions in medications translate into substantial cost savings to the patients and the payer.

3. Additional benefits beyond T2D reversal persist for our patients

As we have shown in our clinical trial results previously, T2D reversal on Virta carries other advantages, too. Most tangibly, our patients lose weight and keep it off: on average 12% of their body weight at two years, which comes out to 30 pounds! This is an unheard of level of sustained, average weight loss.

Virta patients also demonstrated significant improvements in markers for two major chronic diseases related to T2D: cardiovascular disease (CVD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Both of these conditions are highly correlated with T2D, do not have definitive treatments, and are extremely costly. CVD is currently the costliest disease in the US at $555 billion in 2016, and the cost of NAFLD has steadily grown to $103 billion in direct medical costs annually in the US alone.

When you take all of these health benefits into account, it is clear that the Virta Treatment gives patients a proven alternative that gives them the power to live life on their own terms instead of accepting that the best they will be able to do is manage their chronic, progressive conditions with no hope in sight.

Thanks from us, to you

The opportunity to give people the medical care they need to win back the story of their life drives everything we do at Virta. We’ve come a long way since we started our clinical trial in August 2015, yet it is still Day One for us as we work towards our mission of reversing type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025!

Thank you to our supporters, our partners, and especially our patients for working with us to make diabetes reversal a reality.

15 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Mickie Deery Adams June 6, 2019 at 10:50 am

    What is your treatment?
    Do you need more participants?
    Just started Actos 3 weeks ago.

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      We aren’t currently seeking additional participants for our clinical trial, however the Virta Treatment is available to individuals in the US who are looking to improve their metabolic health. You can go to https://www.virtahealth.com/thevirtatreatment to learn more!

      Reply

  2. Avatar
    Kimberley DeFay June 6, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Stunning results! Thank you.

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    So who has type 2 diabetes reversal if they start eating like before will type2 diabetes come back ?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes are not able to tolerate as many carbohydrates as someone who doesn’t have a history of type 2 diabetes. That means that, if they were to return to the same way as eating as before, their blood sugar would increase.

      Reply

  4. Avatar

    How do I get virta diabetes treatment ?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Thank you for your interest! You can start by heading to https://www.virtahealth.com/thevirtatreatment and click on “Apply”. From there, you will fill out a basic history form and someone from our enrollment team will reach out to you.

      Reply

  5. Avatar
    Lauralee Post June 6, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    How can I find out more about Virta?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Hi Lauralee! You can start by going to https://www.virtahealth.com/thevirtatreatment If you’re interested in applying, you will fill out a basic history form and someone from our enrollment team will schedule a time to chat with you and answer any questions you have.

      Reply

  6. Avatar
    Scott Done, MSN, RN, CDE June 6, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    This is wonderful and exciting news. It is also solid research for even skeptical practitioners to consider.

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    Frances Lilian Wellington June 6, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Excellent.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    Bengt D Nilsson June 7, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Please do a new TED talk about the results after 2 years

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    Dr Nerida Burton June 8, 2019 at 1:31 am

    Congratulations, Virta!!! Dr Nerida Burton Australia

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    amzing

    Reply

  11. Avatar

    Congratulations and thank you for this outstanding work! This will change the health of America in time!

    Reply

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