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New drug for type two diabetes


Type two diabetes sufferers will be able to take a new drug, called dapagliflozin, which can lower bodyweight and improve blood sugar control, while acting independently of insulin.

Diabetes patients who have inadequate blood sugar control could take the drug as a new therapeutic option with the first line drug metformin, as well as for early-stage and late-stage diabetes.

Professor Clifford Bailey from Birmingham’s Aston University wrote an article in this week’s American Diabetes Association meeting Special Issue of The Lancet.

Dapagliflozin is a selective sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor.

The drug works by preventing reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, and promoting excretion of glucose in the urine.

Thus the drug reduces high levels of blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) without affecting insulin-dependent systems.

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Since many complications of diabetes are related to high concentrations of blood glucose, directly lowering blood glucose is a legitimate target for new drugs for diabetes.

In this study, the authors assessed the efficacy and safety of dapagliflozin in patients not managing to control their blood sugar with the first-line treatment of metformin.

This phase 3 randomised controlled trial assessed 546 adult patients with diabetes, who were receiving daily metformin, yet had inadequate blood sugar control.

The authors conclude: “This trial shows that dapagliflozin can improve blood glucose control in patients who have inadequate control with metformin. The drug acts independently of insulin, lowers weight, and is not associated with risk of hypoglycaemia. Safety and tolerability of the drug were also confirmed. Therefore, addition of dapagliflozin to metformin provides a new therapeutic option for treatment of type 2 diabetes.”

Copyright Press Association 2010

American Diabetes Association

The Lancet

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