First-in-Class Diabetes Drug Approved

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The FDA has approved Invokana (canagliflozin), a first-in-class medication that helps to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals based in Raritan, N.J., canagliflozin is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor that blocks reabsorption of glucose in the kidney, increases glucose excretion, and lowers blood glucose levels.

The drug was studied in combination with other treatments for type 2 diabetes, including metformin, sulfonylurea, pioglitazone, and insulin across nine clinical trials that included 10,285 patients. From the trials, researchers noted an improvement in hemoglobin A1c levels and fasting plasma glucose levels in addition to reduced body weight and systolic blood pressure.

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