Exenatide Extended-Release for extending remission time in diabetic cats

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting cats in diabetic remission for a clinical trial to evaluate the benefit of Exenatide extended release (Exenatide-ER) for maintaining diabetic cats in remission (in an insulin-independent state).

  • Inclusion Criteria:  Cats that have been in remission from diabetes (no insulin required) for 1-4 months, have no other major uncontrolled medical issues, and are fed a diet specifically formulated for diabetes (high protein, low carbohydrate).
  • Treatment: Cats will be examined at the hospital once a month and given either Exenatide-ER or placebo by subcutaneous injection. Trial duration is 24 months or until the recurrence of diabetes mellitus (which ever is sooner.) At each recheck blood testing will be performed to determine if the cat remains in remission.
  • Costs: The study will cover one third of the cost of the first office visit as well the full cost of screening tests (including urinalysis and blood tests – complete blood count , biochemistry panel, thyroid hormone measurement, testing for pancreatic inflammation (fPLI) and measurement of insulin like growth factor (IGF-1). All drug expenses (24 months’ worth of Exenatide-ER injections) and all follow-up rechecks (including office visits, blood glucose measurements and fructosamine concentrations) will be covered by the study
  • Contact: Contact Dr. Chen Gilor for questions and inquiries about the study: cgilor@ufl.edu. Study Interest Form
  • Study Investigators: Dr. Chen Gilor and Dr. Allison O’Kell


Exenatide is a drug that is widely used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus in people. Exenatide mimics the action of GLP-1, a hormone that improves secretion of insulin from the pancreas in response to elevations in blood sugar levels. Exenatide also enhances the ability of cells that produce insulin to withstand damage caused by disease and increases their chances of survival. It also simulates their growth and proliferation. The extended-release long-acting formulation (Exenatide-ER) is the first drug to be FDA approved as a once-weekly injection for the treatment of diabetes in people. In a clinical trial comparing Exenatide-ER and a long- acting insulin (glargine), Exenatide-ER was more effective in controlling blood sugar levels and was associated with fewer side effects. We recently tested the effects of Exenatide-ER in healthy cats, finding that Exenatide-ER improves the control of blood sugar for more than 4 weeks after a single injection with no apparent side effects. Here we will compare the effect of Exenatide-ER and placebo in diabetic cats in remission.

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