New Class of Diabetes Drugs Show Great Potential

June 9, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A new class of promising drugs for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes was presented at the American Diabetes Association conference this weekend, which provides patients with better control over their blood sugar levels and weight loss than any drug currently available. The powerful new drugs also offer a much touted convenience benefit, with patients only needing to take the medicines once a day or even once a week.

These new medicines couldn’t have come at a better time for Diabetes sufferers, as a popular class of drugs, GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s Actos have caused patients to be concerned, because of recent revelations linking the drugs with heart disease.

The new promising drugs belong to a class of agents called, “GLiPs” and the findings of the company funded studies were presented to the conference by Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly & Co., Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline.

In one study, Novo’s drug, named liraglutide showed patients taking the drug lost an average of six pounds, compared to a current drug on the market, Amaryl, which resulted in a weight gain of nearly 2 pounds. Similarly, a study of once-a-week version of Byetta, showed patients losing an average of 5.8 pounds.

However, a study with rats given liraglutide showed the rats developing a rare type of thyroid cancer. The FDA is holding off on its approval, until the company can show liraglutide won’t affect humans in the same way as the unfortunate rats.

All the new Type 2 diabetes drugs need approval from the FDA, before they are available to patients.

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