Type II diabetes medication Jardiance® (empagliflozin) by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company, recently became the first of its kind to demonstrate a significantly lowered risk of cardiovascular risk and death, including non-fatal stroke or non-fatal heart attack, by 14% when combined with standard-of-care interventions in high-risk type 2 diabetes patients.
Jardiance is an oral, once daily, highly selective sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor which has demonstrated a 38% decrease in cardiovascular death rates, 32% in all-cause mortality, and 35% in hospitalization due to cardiac failure.
“These results are both novel and exciting for the millions of people living with type 2 diabetes at risk for cardiovascular disease. Addressing the burden of cardiovascular events, including death, is at the core of diabetes care, and until now no single diabetes medication has been associated with a reduction in mortality,” said in a press release the trial’s lead investigator Dr. Bernard Zinman, Director, Diabetes Centre, Mount Sinai Hospital; Senior Scientist, Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, and Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada. “In this study, empagliflozin was shown to prevent one out of three cardiovascular deaths.”
Estimates show that patients with type 2 diabetes deemed high-risk for cardiovascular complications have a life expectancy that is reduced by up to 12 years, with roughly half of the mortalities precipitated by cardiovascular events.
“The EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial results are encouraging for healthcare professionals and their patients,” said Dr. Christopher P. Cannon from Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the study. “Patients in the study were already being treated with medications that have been proven to reduce cardiovascular events. The observation that empagliflozin provided additional cardiovascular death reduction on top of these other medications is a very important finding.”
These findings are accompanied by a safety profile report similar to previously completed studies, with incidences of diabetic ketoacidosis at or less than 0.1% across all patient groups. The findings were presented during the 51st European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting held in Stockholm, Sweden, and were recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine under the title “Empagliflozin, Cardiovascular Outcomes, and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes“.