Diabetes drug Onglyza (saxagliptin) does not reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes or death from cardiovascular causes compared to a placebo, drug makers Bristol Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca said.
The companies had conducted clinical trials to determine if the Type 2 diabetes treatment could help reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attacks and ischemic strokes and death from cardiovascular problems as well as lower blood glucose levels. Onglyza did not perform better than a placebo; however, it was not inferior to the placebo either.
The clinical trials involved 16,500 people with diabetes as well as a history of heart disease or multiple risk factors. Patients took their regular diabetes treatment and some took Onglyza or a placebo.
Onglyza is in a class of medications known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor. It, along with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, are considered incretin mimetics. These drugs work by mimicking the incretin hormones that the body usually produces naturally to stimulate the release of insulin in response to a meal.
Recent studies have found this category of Type 2 diabetes drugs may increase the risk of inflammatory pancreatic effects including acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, as well as thyroid cancer.
Incretin mimetics drugs include the brand names Byetta, Bydureon, Victoza, Januvia, Janumet, Janumet XR, Juvisync, Onglyza, Kombiglyze, Nesina, Kazano, Oseni, Tradjenta, and Jentadueto. Additional studies have found the greatest risk of pancreatic problems among these drugs with Byetta and Januvia.
Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are currently investigating cases of acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in patients who have used Byetta or Januvia.