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Published on 11 September 2008

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Novartis presents new drug data

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New data show Galvus – an oral dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor for type 2 diabetes – can lower blood sugar without the risk of producing hypoglycaemic attacks (“hypos”).

The information, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting in Rome, saw pharmaceutical company Novartis demonstrate the
hypo-preventing mechanism of Galvus.

The findings are of major importance for DPP-4 inhibitors, supporting a possible future role in attenuating the risk of hypos from insulin.

The results were taken from a study carried out by Dr Bo Ahren of Lund University, Sweden.

Professor Anthony Barnett of Birmingham University, UK, commented: “Hypos have devastating, sometimes fatal, effects on patients’ health, so drugs that help other agents lower blood sugar but avoid hypos would be hugely popular in type 2 diabetes therapy. Treatments leading to severe hypos terrify patients, who are then reluctant to continue taking them to control their hyperglycaemia adequately. Doctors don’t like prescribing them either.”

A risk of hypos is linked to insulin but also to oral drugs, notably sulphonylureas. In the ACCORD trial, a large number of hypos were seen in the intensive treatment arm, which experienced excess deaths, making clinicians wary of intensive and rapid blood glucose lowering, especially in elderly, frail patients.

Novartis

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“DPP-4 inhibitors are breakthrough treatments in type 2 diabetes. To start with 100mg of oral dipeptidyl with Metformin should be the first choice.” –  Dr N Dasgupta, MD,  Dehli, India



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