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AstraZeneca wins FDA OK for type 2 diabetes med

February 28, 2017

AstraZeneca (AZN) stock gained in early London trading Tuesday after it received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a type-2 diabetes medication.

The London-listed drugmaker said it had received approval for Qtern, a once-daily treatment for type-2 diabetes, which affects more than 29 million American. The approval comes after the company’s breast cancer treatment, Lynparza, was shown to be more effective than chemotherapy.

AstraZeneca shares were marked 1.07% higher at 4,658 pence each by 08:45 GMT, extending a 9.46% gain in the past three months, largely in-line with the 8.9% advance for the Stoxx Europe TMI Pharmaceuticals Index.

“Type-2 diabetes is a complex disease that is at epidemic proportions … The approval of Qtern is good news for patients who may benefit from improved glycaemic control by adding a DPP-4 inhibitor to a SGLT-2 inhibitor in a convenient once-daily tablet,” said AstraZeneca’s  vice president and head of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases Elisabeth Bjork.

Qtern combines two anti-hyperglycaemic agents with complementary mechanisms of action in a once-daily tablet: Dapagliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor; and saxagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor.

Diabetes is a core therapy area for the company, focusing on research and development efforts on diverse populations and patients with other disease such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and chronic kidney disease.

The company earlier this month said that a new oncology treatment Lynparza has shown to be more effective than chemotherapy in treating metastic breast cancer.

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