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AstraZeneca’s Forxiga displays potential in type 1 diabetes

Published on 14/09/17 at 11:22am

Forxiga is AstraZeneca’s treatment for those living with type 2 diabetes but the results from a new trial have found that the pill may have benefits in harder to treat type 1 diabetes.

The study found that adding the treatment to insulin therapy in those living with type 1 diabetes allowed those receiving the pill to better manage their blood sugar levels. There was a reported additional benefit of weight loss and requiring fewer insulin doses. On average, glucose levels remained at a healthy level for at least two hours longer on average between doses.

The reports of weight loss are consistent with previous trials of the drug that have shown that it is able to boast a range of benefits to people living with type 2 diabetes. Earlier this year, a real world trial displayed that the drug was able to reduce the rate of hospitalisation for heart failure and death in approximately half of patients taking the drug.

Forxiga, known as Farxiga in the US, is a tablet medication that helps to manage blood glucose levels by aiding the kidneys to remove glucose from the blood and excrete it within urine. This allows users of the drug to lose weight as the excretion of glucose effectively carries calories out of the body’s system.

“Our paper provides the initial signal that dapagliflozin is safe and effective in patients with Type 1 diabetes and is a promising adjunct treatment to insulin to improve glycemic control,” said senior author of the study, Dr Paresh Dandona, University at Buffalo. “The 24-week results from DEPICT-1 are important as they represent the first Phase 3 trial in Type 1 diabetes of the newer, selective SGLT-2 class of diabetes medicines as an oral adjunct to insulin”.

The interim results were posted at the half year mark of the study but AstraZeneca will wait for a full year’s worth of data before applying to the FDA for an indication in type 1. The drug brought in $835 million in sales in 2016, with sales growing year-on-year and a potential expansion into type 1 diabetes this looks set to increase even further.

Ben Hargreaves

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