September 14, 2017 / 7:34 AM / a year ago

Astra's Farxiga results may open up type 1 diabetes opportunity

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - AstraZeneca’s Farxiga was shown to help type-1 diabetics when added to standard insulin therapy, possibly opening up a additional market opportunity for the type-2 diabetes drug, the British drugmaker said in a statement on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of AstraZeneca is seen on a medication package at a pharmacy in London April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Adding Farxiga, also known as dapagliflozin, helped reduce excess glucose levels in the blood, led to some weight loss and allowed patients to lower their insulin dose, when compared to a control group that received insulin only, the group said, citing interim results from a late-stage trial.

Type 1, which accounts for 5-10 percent of all diabetes cases, is typically diagnosed during childhood while type 2 is linked to factors such as obesity and high blood pressure later in life.

The results were gathered a little less than half a year into the study but AstraZeneca will await figures for a full year before deciding on a request for approval to widen the use to type 1 diabetes.

Farxiga, which analysts expect to generate close to $2 billion in annual revenues in 5-6 years’ time, belongs to a relatively new class of type 2 diabetes drugs called SGLT-2 inhibitors, which help remove excess blood sugar through urine.

Others in the class include Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance and Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Christoph Steitz

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