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Bristol-Myers/Astrazeneca Diabetes Drug Meets Goal

From Associated Press (June 28, 2010)

NEW YORK -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca PLC said a late-stage clinical trial showed its diabetes drug candidate dapagliflozin was more effective than placebo at reducing blood sugar levels.

The companies ran a trial involving 800 patients with type 2 diabetes, comparing three doses of dapagliflozin and insulin to a combination of insulin and a placebo. Some of the patients in the 24-week study also took oral anti-diabetes drugs.

The drug makers said patients who took dapagliflozin saw a bigger reduction in blood sugar levels than those who took the placebo. Patients on dapagliflozin also had a larger reduction in body weight over the course of the study, a greater reduction in the size of the insulin dose they needed, and a bigger change in fasting blood sugar levels.

Dapagliflozin works by helping the kidneys eliminate excess glucose. Recent diabetes drugs, like Bristol-Myers’ and AstraZeneca’s Onglyza and Merck and Co.’s Januvia, increase insulin production and reduce glucose production.

Patients in the study received 2.5 milligrams, 5 milligrams, or 10 milligrams. Those patients saw their blood sugar levels fall by 0.75 percent, 0.82 percent and 0.9 percent respectively, the companies said. Patients on insulin and placebo had a 0.3 percent reduction.

On average, patients on 2.5 milligrams or 5 milligrams of dapagliflozin lost 2.2 pounds during the study, and patients on the 10-milligram dose lost 3.7 pounds. Patients on placebo did not gain or lose weight.

In morning trading, Bristol-Myers Squibb shares fell 7 cents to $25.50, and AstraZeneca stock dipped 26 cents to $44.63.



Posted: June 2010