AstraZeneca unveils new drug to treat diabetes

Bengaluru, June 11 (IANS) Indian subsidiary of British pharma major AstraZeneca on Thursday unveiled a new drug to treat Type-2 diabetes mellitus.

“The new medication, Forxiga, has a unique insulin to remove excess glucose from the body via urine, which is associated with reductions in glycated haemoglobin, weight and systolic blood pressure,” the company said in a statement here.

Forxiga is the first drug in the new sodium-glucose co-transporter inhibitor to get regulatory approval for treating Type-2 diabetes.

“The medicine in tablet form is a once-daily medication to improve glycaemic control in adults having Type-2 diabetes. It has to be used as an adjunct to diet and exercise with other glucose-lowering medicinal products, including insulin,” Sanjay Murdeshwar, managing director of the AstraZeneca, Pharma India Ltd said on the occasion.

With 63 million people affected across the country, diabetes is a disease of epidemic scale in India, with many of them (patients) remaining uncontrolled in their glucose lowering regimen.

“As Type-2 diabetes mellitus is associated with overweight/obesity, Forxiga offers a new treatment approach for patients and doctors who help in improving glycaemic control with benefits of weight loss and blood pressure reduction,” Murdeshwar said.

Regulator Drugs Controller General of India approved the medicine on February 25 after evaluating its safety and efficacy in clinical studies of 11,801 patients.

“Though we have innovative non-insulin anti-diabetic products to meet the individual needs of diabetic patients, Forxiga represents advancement in treating type 2 diabetes with global safety and efficacy data of four years,” Murdeshwar asserted.

The drug is made available in the Indian market for prescription.

“As treating diabetes remains a challenge despite multiple therapeutic options of oral and injectable agents, Forxiga works by blocking re-absorption of glucose in kidneys while excess glucose gets excreted via urine to help patients achieve glcameic control,” subsidiary’s medical and regulatory affairs vice-president Bhavesh Kotak said.

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