Pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb have revealed disappointing results for the type 2 diabetes drug Onglyza .
Onglyza (saxagliptin) is part of a class of medicines known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, or gliptins, which aid blood glucose control by boosting the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas and decreasing the body’s release of glucagon.
To test the drug’s effects on heart health, a large clinical study was conducted which it was hoped would demonstrate Onglyza’s superiority to a placebo at reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke .
But AstraZeneca and BMS, which jointly sell several diabetes drugs, announced this week that preliminary results from the so-called SAVOR trial showed that diabetic patients taking Onglyza had no fewer adverse cardiovascular events than those on placebo.
The clinical trial evaluated adult type 2 diabetes patients with either a history of established cardiovascular disease or multiple risk factors .
Researchers found that while Onglyza achieved the primary safety objective of non-inferiority for cardiovascular outcomes when added to a patient’s current standard of care, it ultimately failed to meet the primary efficacy objective of superiority compared to placebo.
Full detailed findings of the phase IV SAVOR (Saxagliptin Assessment of Vascular Outcomes Recorded in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus) clinical trial will be submitted to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) for potential presentation at the ESC Congress in September.

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