Ipragliflozin (Suglat) First of New Diabetes Drug Class in Japan

January 20, 2014

Ipragliflozin has become the first sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor to be approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in Japan.

Ipragliflozin, jointly developed by Astellas Pharma and Kotobuki Pharmaceutical, will be marketed as Suglat, in doses of 25 and 50 mg. The recommended dose is 50 mg once daily, in the morning. If the effects are insufficient, the dosage may be increased to up to 100 mg once a day, while carefully monitoring disease progress.

SGLT2 inhibitors block resorption of glucose in the kidneys, leading to an increase in urinary glucose excretion and lowering of plasma glucose levels and decrease in body weight.

Although ipragliflozin is the first drug in the class to reach the market in Japan, others have been on the market elsewhere for some time. In the US, canagliflozin (Invokana, Janssen Pharmaceuticals) was the first to be cleared for marketing in March 2013, and dapagliflozin (Farxiga, AstraZeneca/Bristol-Myers Squibb) has just been approved upon the second attempt, with a US decision expected any day on empagliflozin (Boehringer Ingelheim/Lilly).

Dapagliflozin has been available in Europe for some time as Forxiga, and is approved in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, and New Zealand. Canagliflozin gained European approval in November 2013.

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