Drug shows improved kidney function for type 2 diabetics

June 24, 2011

A new anti-inflammatory drug used by patients with type 2 diabetes improved their kidney function during a year-long study involving researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The study findings, reported in today's , mark the first time a drug therapy has led to improved for patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic . Previous studies have identified drugs that slowed the deterioration of kidney function, said Dr. Robert Toto, director of the Houston J. and Florence A. Doswell Center for the Development of New Approaches for the Treatment of Hypertension at UT Southwestern.

"In diabetes, kidney function tends to deteriorate over time," Dr. Toto said. "No prior studies of this duration have shown what appears to be an increase in kidney function by any therapy, which makes this a very exciting development."

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, the leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S. Diabetics account for nearly half of all new cases of end-stage , the point at which patients require dialysis or a , said Dr. Toto, professor of internal medicine.

The study involved 227 adult patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. They were divided into four groups – three receiving different dosages of bardoxolone methyl, an anti-inflammatory drug, and the fourth group receiving a placebo and acting as a control.

The patients were tracked for 56 weeks, with measurements of their kidney function taken every four weeks. At study-highlighted weeks 24 and 52, researchers saw an overall significant increase in the estimated glomerular filtration rates, which are measurements of how well the kidneys are functioning, for the patients receiving the drug.

At 56 weeks, four weeks after researchers stopped administering the drug, a third measurement showed that patients continued to maintain a slightly higher level of kidney function compared to baseline measurements taken at the study's start.

"That is important because it implies the beneficial effect of the drug lasts for quite some time after it is discontinued," Dr. Toto said.

The most common side effects included muscle spasms, low blood magnesium levels and nausea.

The next step, Dr. Toto said, will be a longer-term clinical trial with a larger patient pool, necessary to confirm the effectiveness and safety of using the anti-inflammatory in people with type 2 diabetes and . He noted that it is important to interpret the current study's results cautiously, given the small number of patients and one-year duration of the study.

"The results of this study show promise for bardoxolone methyl in the treatment of kidney disease in those with ," he said. "If it's confirmed to be effective and safe in the long term, this drug could potentially have a major positive impact on kidney disease and become part of the standard of care."

Dr. Philip Raskin, professor of internal medicine who leads the University Diabetes Treatment Center and the clinic at Parkland Memorial Hospital, also participated in the study, as did researchers at Reata Pharmaceuticals, Renal Associates in San Antonio, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and Statistics Collaborative in Washington, D.C.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Antibody found that fight MERS coronavirus

July 28, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found a MERS neutralizing antibody—a discovery that could perhaps lead to a treatment for people infected with the virus. In their paper published in Proceedings ...

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.