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2 New Drugs May Help Fight Diabetes

Drugs, Called Alogliptin and Saxagliptin, Are in the Same Drug Class as Januvia
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 9, 2008 -- Two new drugs to treat type 2 diabetes fared well in their clinical trials, new research shows.

The drugs are alogliptin and saxagliptin. They're in a class of drugs called DPP-IV inhibitors, which block an enzyme called DPP-IV to keep insulin-boosting proteins in the blood longer.

The FDA approved the first DPP-IV inhibitor, Januvia, in 2006.

Alogliptin and saxagliptin are both up for the FDA's consideration. This week in Rome, researchers have been presenting their latest trials on those drugs.

The trials tracked hemoglobin A1c, which gauges blood sugar control, over two to three months in adults with type 2 diabetes.

In the saxaglpiptin trials, patients either took saxagliptin or a placebo, along with other diabetes drugs, for 24 weeks. The alogliptin trials lasted two weeks longer, with patients taking alogliptin or a placebo.

Compared to the placebo, taking alogliptin or saxagliptin in addition to other diabetes drugs led to better hemoglobin A1c levels without adding new safety concerns.

The studies didn't include a head-to-head comparison of alogliptin, saxagliptin, or Januvia.

The findings, presented in Rome at the 44th annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, were funded by the drugs' makers.

Alogliptin is made by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The drug companies Bristol Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca are collaborating on saxagliptin, which they plan to call "Onglyza" if approved.

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