A Research Study to Look at How Semaglutide Compared to Placebo Affects Diabetic Eye Disease in People With Type 2 Diabetes (FOCUS)

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Novo Nordisk

Status and phase

Active, not recruiting
Phase 3


Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2


Drug: Semaglutide
Drug: Placebo (semaglutide)

Study type


Funder types



2017-003619-20 (Registry Identifier)
U1111-1201-6256 (Other Identifier)

Details and patient eligibility


This study will look at the long-term effects of semaglutide (active medicine) on diabetic eye disease when compared to placebo (dummy medicine). The study will be performed in people with type 2 diabetes. Participants will either get semaglutide or placebo in addition to their diabetes medicines - which treatment the participant gets is decided by chance. Participants will inject the study medicine using a pen-injector. The medicine must be injected in a skin fold in the stomach, thigh or upper arm once a week. The study will last for 5 years.


1,500 estimated patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Male or female, age greater than or equal to 18 years at the time of signing informed consent
  • Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • HbA1c of 7.0-10.0% (53-86 mmol/mol) (both inclusive).
  • Eye inclusion criteria (both eyes must meet all criteria):
  • Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) level of 10-75 (both inclusive) evaluated by fundus photography and confirmed by central reading centre
  • No ocular or intraocular treatment for diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular oedema six months prior to the day of screening.
  • No anticipated need for ocular or intraocular treatment for diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular oedema within three months after randomisation.
  • Best-corrected visual acuity greater than or equal to 30 letters using the ETDRS visual acuity protocol
  • No previous treatment with pan-retinal laser photocoagulation
  • No substantial non-diabetic ocular condition that, in the opinion of the ophthalmologist, would impact diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular oedema progression during the trial
  • No substantial media opacities that would preclude successful imaging

Exclusion criteria

  • Any of the following: myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina pectoris or transient ischaemic attack within the past 60 days prior to the day of screening
  • Planned coronary, carotid or peripheral artery revascularisation known on the day of screening
  • Subjects presently classified as being in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class IV
  • Renal impairment measured as estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) value of eGFR less than 30 ml/min/1.73 m^2
  • Personal or first degree relative(s) history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 or medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Presence or history of malignant neoplasms within the past 5 years prior to the day of screening. Basal and squamous cell skin cancer and any carcinoma in-situ are allowed
  • Female who is pregnant, breast-feeding or intends to become pregnant or is of child-bearing potential and not using highly effective contraceptive methods
  • Concurrent treatment with any GLP-1 receptor agonist or DPP-4 inhibitor from randomisation.
  • Receipt of any investigational medicinal product within 30 days before screening
  • Previous participation in this trial. Participation is defined as randomisation
  • Known or suspected hypersensitivity to trial products or related products
  • Any disorder, which in the investigator's opinion might jeopardise subject's safety or compliance with the protocol

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Quadruple Blind

1,500 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Experimental group
Participants will receive semaglutide once weekly as subcutaneous (s.c., under the skin) injection added to standard of care.
Drug: Semaglutide
Placebo Comparator group
Participants will receive placebo (semaglutide) once weekly as subcutaneous subcutaneous (s.c., under the skin) injection added to standard of care.
Drug: Placebo (semaglutide)

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Novo Nordisk

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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