Novel diabetes drug could assist individuals with coronary heart failure, kidney illness

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February 2, 2021, 3:45 p.m.

Harvard heart letter

Posted: Feb 2, 2021 at 3:45 pm

Updated: February 2, 2021, 4:35 p.m.

AP Photo / John Locher

A unique diabetes drug, according to two studies, shows heart-related benefits in people with diabetes who also recently had worsening heart failure or kidney disease.

The drug sotagliflozin (Zynquista) is in a class of drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors that cause the kidneys to release more sugar into the urine. The drug is also an SGLT1 inhibitor, which means that it decreases the absorption of sugar in the intestines. This dual action lowers high blood sugar, the hallmark of diabetes.

In people with kidney disease, sotagliflozin reduced the total number of deaths from cardiovascular disease, hospitalizations, and urgent visits for heart failure by about 26% compared to a placebo.

In a second study involving people with recently worsened heart failure, the same heart-related interventions decreased 33% compared to a placebo.

Sotagliflozin is not yet approved in the United States.

Both studies were published online on November 16, 2020 by the New England Journal of Medicine.