AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company announced that its diabetes medicine, Farxiga drug has improved the survival chances of kidney disease patients.

The company stated that in a study, Farxiga has cut the risk of dying by 31% from any cause for people suffering from critical kidney disease when compared to a group on placebo.

Farxiga is one of the top five drugs sold by AstraZeneca and has earned a revenue of $1.54 billion in 2019 for treating diabetes. In the trial, it has decreased the risk of worsening kidney function by 39%.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious, advanced condition which affects around 700 million people globally and has very few treatment options. It can also result in kidney failure and further leave patients requiring dialysis.

The head of AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals research and development, Mene Pangalos confirmed that the firm aims to request regulatory approval for extended use of the medicine in CDK over the next few months. 

Farxiga falls in the class of SGLT2 inhibitors and helps in type-2 diabetics. It prompts the kidneys to eject excess blood glucose through the urine. However, the studies have shown that the drug has shown a different helpful effect on the kidneys and heart that are not related to blood sugar control. Though the mode of action is not fully understood, it is believed that it protects the structures in the kidneys that filter blood.

In July, Astrazeneca had given a brief statement on the success of the trial but did not reveal the details that it recently presented at the annual European Society of Cardiology congress.

The pharma company is ahead of other manufacturers of SGLT2 inhibitors including Jardiance drug by Eli Lilly and partner Boehringer Ingelheim, and Invokana drug by Johnson & Johnson in enhancing the drug’s use beyond diabetes.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has put Jardiance up for a speedy review in March, but the approval is yet not received. Farxiga got the approval from the FDA in the last year.

In May, the U.S. regulators had proved Farxiga as a drug for heart failure, regardless of the diabetes status of the patient.