New Drug to Treat Type 2 Diabetes Shows Promise

A new drug by Johnson and Johnson in Phase III trials shows promise in treating several aspects of type 2 diabetes. According to the researchers, the drug canagliflozin helps to reduce blood sugar as well as blood pressure and weight. Data compiled on more than 1,700 patients were part of the study, which Johnson and Johnson submitted to the U.S. and European authorities for approval. It is their first attempt at getting a diabetic drug approved.

Results of the Study

A recent 18-week study of the Phase III trial data revealed that Hemoglobin A1C levels were reduced by more than one-half to nearly one percent, depending on the dosage, compared to placebo. Both diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels dropped anywhere from 2 to 4 mmHg, depending on dose. After 18 weeks, patients lost an average of 4 pounds on the lower dosage of 100 milligrams, and an average of 5 pounds on the 300 milligram dosage. This is especially significant because many older diabetic treatments actually cause weight gain.

One of the study’s lead researchers, David Matthews, said:

"It's always a challenge to try and reduce weight, reduce blood glucose, reduce blood pressure and here you've got an agent which will help you to reduce weight, blood sugar and blood pressure all in one go."

Side Effects

Side effects of the drug were labeled "mild to moderate" and included genital infections, which happened in 10 percent of the women and 6 percent of the men taking the drug. The drug works by blocking re-absorption of glucose by the kidney, which forces it to be excreted in the urine. Other drugs in this class have been rejected due to it causing liver problems.

"All in all, you've got no real safety signal coming out of the liver or the renal aspects (kidneys) that would give cause for concern," said Matthews.

Source: Reuters

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