Mixed news for diabetes drugs

|By:, SA News Editor

AstraZeneca's (AZN) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) approved Type 2 diabetes treatment Onglyza was unexpectedly linked with a small rise in hospitalizations for heart failure - where the heart is unable to pump blood properly - in a large-scale two-year study. The problem affected 3.5% of patients vs 2.8% in a control group.

However, Onglyza didn't increase the risk of "cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke."

The drug, along with Takeda's Nesina, wasn't associated with higher rates of inflammation of the pancreas or cancer, which had previously been a concern.

Onglyza and Nesina work by inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase-4, or DPP-4, in order to strengthen the body's ability to reduce high blood-sugar levels. (PR)