AstraZeneca Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in Severe Kidney Condition

Aakash B, Pushkala Aripaka

July 29, 2020

(Reuters) - AstraZeneca's diabetes treatment has shown promise in a late-stage trial to help to slow chronic kidney disease, putting it on track for possible expanded approvals ahead of rival drugs.

The British drugmaker said on Tuesday that the treatment - Farxiga - which is used for the most common form of diabetes, helped to improve renal function or reduced the risk of death compared with a placebo in diabetic and non-diabetic patients in a study.

Diabetes is known to have knock-on effects for the heart and kidneys, prompting many drugmakers to test their diabetes treatments on conditions affecting these organs.

Farxiga is part of the SGLT2-inhibitor class of antidiabetics which also includes Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim's Jardiance and Johnson & Johnson's Invokana.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put Jardiance up for a speedy review for a similar setting, but the drug has yet to receive approval. Farxiga was granted this status by the FDA last year.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious, progressive condition which affects nearly 700 million people worldwide, and has limited treatment options.

The positive data from AstraZeneca's late-stage DAPA-CKD trial also comes nearly three months after U.S. regulators approved Farxiga as a medicine for heart failure in certain patients, regardless of their diabetes status.

Farxiga had sales of $1.54 billion in 2019, making it among AstaZeneca's top five treatments in terms of revenue.