A novel new type 2 diabetes drug is showing good safety and efficacy in clinical trials, drug maker Poxel announced this week.
Imeglimin is the first in a new chemical class of oral anti-diabetic agents, the glimins. The drug acts on three main target organs involved in glucose homeostatis – the liver, muscle and the pancreas – and thus has a distinct mode of action compared to existing treatments for type 2 diabetes. The drug appears best when paired with other treatments.
Last year, Poxel reported good results in phase 2 results of Imeglimin as an add-on therapy with metformin in patients who could not control their blood sugar levels with metformin alone. The latest phase 2 study with Imeglimin, was tested as an add-on therapy to sitagliptin. The drug company reported overall safety and tolerability profile in the imeglimin-sitagliptin group as “excellent.”
Drug companies are eager to develop new and improved drug treatments for type 2 diabetes. The chronic illness affects more than 25 million people in the United States, and another 79 million have prediabetes and will likely go on to develop the disease unless they change their lifestyles. (The disease can be averted by regular exercise and a healthy diet.)
Almost all people who develop type 2 diabetes will eventually need medication to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Drug companies that develop drugs for type 2 diabetes can earn millions and even billions in profits.
Gaining approval for diabetes treatments from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, has become more difficult in recent years with the FDA taking a much closer look at cardiac and cancer risks associated with these medications.
In 2010, the FDA placed severe restrictions on Avandia after the drug was linked to deadly heart attacks. In 2011, the agency warned doctors and consumers that Actos had been linked to bladder cancer.