Canagliflozin is associated with a reduced risk of sustained kidney function loss in adults with type 2 diabetes at a high risk of cardiovascular events, research suggests.
Canagliflozi, marketed as Invokana, is part of the SGLT2 inhibitor drug class. It helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of glucose that is passed out of the body through urine.
The drug’s effects have long been studied in the ongoing CANVAS and CANVAS-R trials, particularly how the drug impacts cardiovascular effects in people with type 2 diabetes.
These new findings, reported by scientists from the US and Australia, found that when compared with placebo, canagliflozin reduced kidney decline and albuminuria, the presence of a protein symptomatic of kidney disease.
A total of 10,142 participants with type 2 diabetes and a high risk of cardiovascular events were involved, who were either randomised to canagliflozin or placebo.

The research team assessed a number of kidney markers including end-stage kidney disease, with results from the two studies taken from between November 2009 – March 2011 and January 2014 – May 2015.
Death from kidney-related causes was reduced in the canagliflozin group, while total serious kidney events were similar between the two groups.

“In a prespecified exploratory analysis, canagliflozin treatment was associated with a reduced risk of sustained loss of kidney function, attenuated eGFR decline, and a reduction in albuminuria, which supports a possible renoprotective effect of this drug in people with type 2 diabetes,” said the researchers.
The positive findings build upon previous research showing canagliflozin’s kidney benefits. In 2017, a CANVAS update showed revealed similar results, while a 2016 trial revealed canagliflozin was more effective than glimepiride in slowing the progression of renal disease in people with type 2 diabetes.
These new findings have been published online in The Lancet Diabetes &Endocrinology.

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