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New Diabetes Drug Improves Blood Sugar, Weight Loss

Acomplia also looks promising for other risk factors, study finds

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- The new drug called rimonabant (brand name Acomplia) helped improve blood sugar control and promote weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes, according to study results released Tuesday by drug maker Sanofi-Aventis.

The study of 278 patients at 56 centers in the United States and six other countries found that the drug also had an effect on other risk factors such as levels of good and bad cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides.

The patients in this study, called SERENADE (Study Evaluating Rimonabant Efficacy in Drug-Naive Diabetic Patients), were not taking any other medications for their diabetes. The findings were presented at the World Diabetes Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.

"The management of type 2 diabetes should not only focus on controlling blood sugar levels but also improve other risk factors such as weight, good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure," Dr. Julio Rosenstock, director of the Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Medical City and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, said in a prepared statement.

"This study suggests that rimonabant can achieve improvement in blood glucose with the added benefit of significant weight loss and improvement in other risk factors," said Rosenstock, who was an investigator in the SERENADE study.

"Some current medications for type 2 diabetes are often associated with weight gain. The fact that blood sugar levels were reduced along with weight loss and improvements in HDL ("good") cholesterol and triglycerides may further support the novel mechanism of action of rimonabant, which is different from the mode of action of current oral anti-diabetic medications," Rosenstock said.

This is the second study to find that rimonabant improves blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The previous study, funded by Sanofi-Aventis, was published online Oct. 27 in the journal The Lancet.

Rimonabant is approved in Europe but has not been approved in the United States.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about diabetes.

SOURCE: Sanofi-Aventis, news release, Dec. 5, 2006
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