Astrazeneca global study reveals diabetes medication significantly cuts death rates

AstraZeneca PLC reported data from a significant study with its diabetes drug Farxiga, showing that the drug reduces hospitalisation for heart failure and death from patients with type-2 diabetes.

A real-world study dubbed CVD Real, which was sponsored by AstraZeneca, was conducted to examine the role played by SGLT2 in reducing heart-related deaths, as well as hospitalization.

In the interim, however, the pharma sponsored the CVD-REAL study, which pulled data from health claims, registries and other medical records to assess the outcomes of over 300,000 patients across six countries, including the USA and the United Kingdom.

Jardiance caused a stir in 2015, when a clinical trial conducted to reassure it does not cause heart problems instead showed it reduced the combined risk of hospitalization for heart failure or death from heart failure by 39 percent in high risk patients.

EMPA-REG also put pressure on other drugmakers to demonstrate the cardiovascular benefit of their drugs, raising the bar for diabetes drugs to prove both efficacy in lower glucose levels as well as protect against heart risks.

This research's findings affirm those from the Empa-Reg Outcome study, which revealed that the administration of Jardiance reduced heart-related hospitalizations by 35 percent. It also led to a 35 percent decrease in hospitalization due to heart failure. The comparator medicines included a wide variety of diabetes treatments, including metformin, DPP-4 inhibitors, such as Merck & Co's Januvia, and insulin, among others. Most of the patients on SGLT-2s received either Farxiga or Invokana, while fewer than 10% of patients took Jardiance.

There is an increased demand for AstraZeneca's Farxiga drug, which resulted in a spike in sales by 70 percent in 2016.The product has been declared one of the best medicines for curing diabetes.

AstraZeneca has its own large cardiovascular outcomes trial, dubbed DECLARE, now under way, aimed at showing a similar benefit to Farxiga. The result is expected to be announced in 2019.

But the latest data presented by Dr. Mikhail Kosiborod at the American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in Washington appears to indicate that heart protection is not limited to Jardiance.

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