Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim have planned to extend their research into Jardiance, a type 2 diabetes drug, and investigate how it affects heart failure patients.
Jardiance (the trade name of empagliflozin) is an SGLT2 inhibitor – a drug class that works by helping the kidneys lower blood glucose levels. Jardiance removes excessive glucose from the body through urine, which can help people with type 2 diabetes improve glycemic control and HbA1c.
Jardiance was approved by the European Commission in May 2014 and the long-term effects of the drug over several years are not yet known. However, Lilly and Boehringer have scheduled these new trials following positive results confirming the drug could benefit cardiovascular health.
In 2015, Jardiance was found to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in a three-year clinical trial (known as the Empa-reg outcome trial), and the results were described as a “first for diabetes”.
The new trials should begin within the next 12 months, and the two companies plan to enrol patients with chronic heart failure with and without type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease, and this risk can be further raised if the condition is not managed well over a long period of time.
Treatment for heart disease includes statins, ACE inhibitors and making lifestyle changes, but these new trials could lead to Jardiance becoming a heart disease drug of the future.
Professor Hans-Juergen Woerle, global VP of medicine at Boehringer, said: “The Empa-reg outcome trial demonstrated that Jardiance reduces the risk of cardiovascular death in diabetes patients at high CV risk, and we now look forward to exploring whether Jardiance can also provide heart failure benefits.”

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