Pharmaceutical

Experimental type 2 diabetes drug shows promise in African American adults

diabetes illus250x03 Experimental type 2 diabetes drug shows promise in African American adultsAn experimental drug for type 2 diabetes is showing promising results in African American adults in a late-stage clinical trial. The once-daily tablet, marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim as Tradjenta, helped reduce blood sugar levels in patients whose blood sugar had not been previously adequately controlled. It is in a class of medications known as DPP-4 inhibitors, which work different from other diabetes medications by inhibiting glucagon and blood sugar levels.

African Americans are at a 77 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than Caucasians. Nearly 20 percent – or about 4.9 million – African American adults are living with the disease. The clinical trial is the first conducted specifically on African American adults with type 2 diabetes involving DPP-4 inhibitors.

The study involved 226 African American adults with type 2 diabetes, all of whom received at least one dose of Tradjenta over the course of 24 weeks. Side effects included high blood pressure and sugar levels, which were consistent with patients in the placebo group.

Adverse effects associated with type 2 diabetes medications is of particular concern since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) severely restricted the use of Avandia in 2010 after the drug was linked to fatal heart attacks. The agency also issued a warning about Actos after it was linked to bladder cancer. More recent studies have shown both Actos and Avandia put users at risk for heart attacks, heart failure, bladder cancer and death.

Source: Fox Business