Eli Lilly and Co. and partner Boehringer Ingelheim will market a first-of-its-kind diabetes treatment that combines two existing drugs in one tablet.
The drugmakers said today they won approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell the two-in-one drug called Glyxambi.
The drug combines the active ingredients of the Lilly-Boehringer products Jardiance and Tradjenta, and is aimed at treating type 2, or adult onset, diabetes.
The tablet, taken once daily, will fight diabetes in two ways: by forcing excess blood sugar out through the urine, and by spurring hormones in the body to produce more insulin and less glucose, or sugar.
Jardiance came on the market last year and Tradjenta in 2011. The Indianapolis drugmaker and its German partner have a broad diabetes alliance that includes those products and others.
Most combination drug products don’t grow into top-sellers. But Lilly said Glyxambi should be useful to some type 2 diabetics who have trouble keeping their blood sugar in line.
“Half of people with type 2 diabetes do not achieve recommended blood sugar control, making new treatment options more important than ever,” Mike Mason, a vice president for Lilly Diabetes, said in a statement. “The approval of Glyxambi gives U.S. physicians and patients a first-in-class prescription medicine to help manage this condition.”
In trials on patients with type 2 diabetes, Glyxambi was more effective in lowering blood-sugar levels than either Jardiance or Tradjenta alone.
The drug also is linked to weight loss, though it’s not approved as a weight loss medication.
Most common side effects in patients taking the drug were urinary tract infections, nasal inflammation and upper respiratory tract infections.
Call Star reporter Jeff Swiatek at (317)444-6483. Follow him on Twitter: @JeffSwiatek.