APR 16, 2019 9:18 AM PDT

Drug Reduces Risk of Kidney Failure in Type 2 Diabetics

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A recent breakthrough clinical trial involving 4,401 participants in 34 countries revealed that a particular drug--canagliflozin, for Type 2 diabetics, lowered the risk of kidney failure and kidney disease. The trial, known as CREDENCE, also revealed that canagliflozin reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events. Findings of the CREDENCE trial were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

"For the first time in 18 years, we have a therapy for patients with Type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease that decreases kidney failure," said Kenneth Mahaffey, MD, professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and co-principal investigator of the trial. "Now, patients with diabetes have a promising option to guard against one of the most severe risks of their condition."

Canagliflozin is currently the only FDA approved therapeutic to protect kidney function in people with Type 2 diabetes as well as to reduce their risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. The drug works by increasing the excretion of glucose through the kidneys. It has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to lower blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with Type 2 diabetes and existing heart disease.

"A drug like canagliflozin that improves both cardiovascular and renal outcomes has been eagerly sought by both patients with Type 2 diabetes and clinicians caring for them," Mahaffey said.

Individuals living with diabetes are prone to developing kidney disease due to prolonged high blood sugar which harms the blood vessels in the kidney. Additionally, diabetes can lead to high blood pressure, which stretches and weaken blood vessels in the organ.

Learn more on how diabetes can affect the kidneys: 

"People with diabetes and kidney disease are at extremely high risk of kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and death," says lead author of the study, Vlado Perkovic, MBBS, PhD, who is also the executive director of The George Institute for Global Health Australia and a professor of medicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. "With this definitive trial result, we now have a very effective way to reduce this risk using a once-daily pill."

Source: Stanford Medicine

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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