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Eli Lilly says diabetes medicine helps improve glucose in patients

Eli Lilly and Co. said its type 2 diabetes medicine Trulicity significantly reduced blood sugar levels in adults when combined with a class of medicines known as sodium-glucose co-transporter-2, or SGLT-2, inhibitors.

The company was studying the drug, which is also known as dulaglutide, in a late-stage trial known as Award-10. After 24 weeks, a larger number of patients who received Trulicity had an improvement in their average blood sugar concentration when compared to those who received placebo.

According to the results, 71% of the patients receiving 1.5 milligrams of Trulicity and 60% of those receiving 0.75 milligrams achieved blood sugar concentration of under 7%. This would compare to 32% of those who received a placebo.

"Managing type 2 diabetes with diet, exercise and oral medications may require the addition of injectable therapy for some people, given the progressive nature of the disease. Award-10 showed that Trulicity, when used in combination with an SGLT-2 inhibitor and metformin, may be effective and well tolerated in people with type 2 diabetes," Lilly Diabetes' senior medical director Brad Woodward said in a statement.

Trulicity is a once-weekly injectable prescription medicine aimed at patients with type 2 diabetes. It is not approved as the first medication to treat diabetes.