FDA Approves New Type 2 Diabetes Drug Bexagliflozin

Miriam E. Tucker

January 23, 2023

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved bexagliflozin (Brenzavvy, TheracosBio) for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes.

The once-daily 20-mg oral sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes, but not type 1 diabetes. It can be used in adults with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) > 30 mL/min/1.73m2.

Approval was based on results from 23 clinical trials with over 5000 participants, including more than 300 patients with stage 3 kidney disease (eGFR < 60 and > 30 mL/min/1.73 m2).

In the phase 3 studies, bexagliflozin significantly reduced A1c and fasting blood glucose at 24 weeks as monotherapy or as add-on to metformin and other glucose-lowering drugs and combinations. It also produced modest reductions in body weight and systolic blood pressure.

In the phase 3 Bexagliflozin Efficacy and Safety Trial (BEST) cardiovascular outcomes trial, the drug met its efficacy and safety objectives in patients at high cardiovascular risk. Noninferiority was demonstrated for the composite outcome of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or unstable angina.

"As a class of drugs, SGLT2 inhibitors have shown tremendous benefit in treating adults with type 2 diabetes," said Mason Freeman, MD, director of the Translational Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, in a press release from TheracosBio.

"Being involved in all of the clinical trials for Brenzavvy, I am greatly impressed with the efficacy of the drug in reducing blood glucose levels and I believe it is an important addition to the SGLT2 inhibitor class of drugs."

As with other SGLT2 inhibitors, adverse events seen in the trials include ketoacidosis, lower limb amputation, volume depletion, urosepsis, pyelonephritis, Fournier's gangrene, genital mycotic infections, and hypoglycemia when used with insulin or insulin secretagogues.

Bexagliflozin joins an already crowded field of SGLT2 inhibitors, some of which have been approved for additional cardiovascular and kidney indications.  

Of interest, bexagliflozin was approved by the FDA for diabetes in cats in December 2022, as the first oral new animal drug to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes not previously treated with insulin.

Miriam E. Tucker is a freelance journalist based in the Washington, DC, area. She is a regular contributor to Medscape, with other work appearing in The Washington Post, NPR's Shots blog, and Diabetes Forecast magazine. She is on Twitter: @MiriamETucker.

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