Dapagliflozin is an experimental drug being studied by Bristol-Myers Squibb in partnership with AstraZeneca as a potential treatment for type 1 and 2 diabetes. Although dapagliflozin’s method of action would operate on either type of diabetes or other conditions resulting in hyperglycemia, the current clinical trials are being conducted only on patients with type 2 diabetes.
The 24 week study conducted on 808 type 2 diabetes patients with inadequately controlled blood sugar despite receiving insulin with or without pills by mouth found that patients who received dapagliflozin had better control of blood sugar and had more weight loss than patients who received placebo. The patients who received dapagliflozin were also receiving lower doses of insulin at the end of the trial than those who received placebo. However, more episodes of low blood sugar occurred in patients receiving dapagliflozin than those receiving placebo. In addition, dapagliflozin causes sugar to accumulate in the urine, which raises concern that it might increase genital infections. An increase in genital infections was reported in the patients who received dapagliflozin, although these infections responded to antibiotic treatment.
The researchers concluded that Dapagliflozin improves glycemic control, stabilizes insulin dosing, and reduces weight without increasing major hypoglycemic episodes in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes.