Roche ends development of new diabetes drug

The development of an experimental diabetes medication has been stopped by pharmaceutical giant Roche due to disappointing results from a late-stage trial .
The Swiss firm announced this week that a safety monitoring committee had recommended halting a Phase III clinical trial of its diabetes drug candidate aleglitazar after data from the study highlighted “safety signals and a lack of efficacy.”
Roche was testing aleglitazar to see if it could prevent cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes who had a high cardiac risk.
But the company found it did not lower the risk of heart attack or stroke and also caused an increase in fractures, kidney problems and heart failure.
“We are disappointed by this outcome as we hoped that aleglitazar would provide significant benefit for patients with Type 2 diabetes who are at risk of cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Hal Barro, chief medical officer and head of global product development at Roche, said in a statement.
He added that Roche is working “to support the management of patients and their transition from aleglitazar treatment to other blood sugar control therapies”.
Aleglitazar, which works by activating two protein receptors known as PPARs (one that regulates blood glucose and another blood lipids), is not the first drug in its class to have failed.
Previous efforts by AstraZenecan, Merck, Takeda and Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop dual PPAR agonists were also abandoned in past years due to safety issues.

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