Cholesterol drug hits diabetes with one-two punch, Tulane study says

July 06, 2007

NEW ORLEANS - Patients with type 2 diabetes may soon be able to control their glucose and their cholesterol levels with a single drug, according to a study led by Vivian A. Fonseca, professor of medicine and pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine and chief of the Tulane University Health Sciences Center Diabetes Program.

Results from the clinical trial demonstrated that the compound colesevelam HCl, in combination with Sulfonylurea-based therapy in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes, achieved significantly reduced glucose levels versus those in the study taking a placebo. The study was recently presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists' 16th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress.

"People with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol face a number of challenges in keeping their glucose levels and cholesterol in check. This study demonstrated the potential to improve two important metabolic parameters with one drug," says Fonseca.

Patients who received colesevelam HCl were shown in the study to have significant reductions in blood sugar levels, and participants' lipid profiles in the colesevelam HCl group also showed substantial improvement over placebo. An application for the commercial production and sale of the drug is currently being assessed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that 20.8 million people in the United States have diabetes and over 90 percent of these have type 2 diabetes. The Association recommends that these patients control their glucose levels, keeping their blood sugar level at less than 7 percent. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that patients with type 2 diabetes keep their cholesterol levels in check and target a goal of less than 100 mg/dL for "bad cholesterol" levels in the blood.
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Tulane University

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