Type 2 diabetes drug dapagliflozin reduces blood sugar in study

Tue, 20 Mar 2012
A new drug treatment for type 2 diabetes, dapagliflozin, lowered the HbA1c of participants taking part in a clinical study.

The drug, being developed by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, is a new treatment for type 2 diabetes which blocks reabsorption of glucose by the kidneys, thus helping to reduce blood sugar levels and excrete sugar via the urine.

The study involved over 800 patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes that were taking at least 30 units of insulin a day. Around 200 patients received a placebo and the other participants were divided into equal groups taking different doses of the medication. HbA1c levels of the participants were measured at the start of the study and after 24 weeks.

In the placebo group HbA1c decreased by a mean of 0.39% after 24 weeks compared with 0.79% to 0.96% in the groups taking dapagliflozin. The drug also enabled participants to reduce their insulin dose and lose weight, whilst those in the placebo group saw their weight and insulin dosage increase. However, those taking the new drug had a slightly higher rate of hypoglycemia and had significantly higher rates of genital and urinary tract infections.

The drug has yet to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration over concerns whether the drug could lead to higher rates of breast and bladder cancer in the long term. The FDA has advised to see more proof of long term safety of the drug before approval can be granted.
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