(Medical Xpress)—A new drug for type 2 diabetes, involving research at Aston University is being launched as a once-daily tablet for adults with the condition.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca have launched FORXIGATM (dapagliflozin), a drug which acts independently of insulin to improve blood sugar levels and lower body weight.
Professor Clifford Bailey, Professor of Clinical Science at Aston University, has led research into dapagliflozin, a new class of treatments called sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT2) inhibitors. These reduce the amount of glucose reabsorbed in the kidney so that excess glucose is passed out of the body via the urine each day.
Professor Bailey's study of patients with type 2 diabetes using dapagliflozin, has provided key information about the drug, which was recently approved for the treatment of this condition. Research showed that it lowers the patient's blood glucose levels and promotes weight loss, unlike some diabetes medications that are associated with weight gain.
Dapagliflozin is for use in combination with other glucose lowering treatments, including insulin when these, together with diet and exercise, do not provide adequate blood glucose control in patients. Dapagliflozin can also be used as a monotherapy if diet and exercise do not work in patients for whom the blood glucose lowering agent metformin is not tolerated.
Type 2 Diabetesis a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. It is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification. If blood glucose levels are not adequately lowered by these measures, medications such as metformin or insulin may be needed. In those on insulin, there is typically the requirement to routinely check blood sugar levels.
Professor Clifford Bailey, author of; "Effect of dapagliflozin in patients with type 2 diabetes", published in The Lancet, said; "dapagliflozin works in a different way to existing treatments. It removes excess glucose from the body along with the associated calories. This process occurs independently of insulin action. So dapagliflozin can be used in conjunction with most commonly used diabetes medications to lower blood glucose, and has the added benefit of weight loss."
Dr Chris Walton, Consultant Diabetologist and Chair of the Association of British Clinical diabetologists, said; "Specialists in diabetes will be keen to work with GPs to assess the place of this new medicine in the treatment of their patients with type 2 diabetes."
FORXIGA (dapagliflozin) has been granted marketing authorisation by the European Commission and will be marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca from December 2012.
Explore further: FDA questions safety of experimental diabetes drug