The study of more than 300,000 people in six different countries revealed that treatment with Farixga reduced the rate of hospitalisation for heart failure by 39% and death from any cause by 51%, compared to other type-2 diabetes drugs.
“Diabetes is a growing epidemic worldwide, which is associated with significant comorbidities that contribute to an increased risk of costly hospitalisations and even death,” said head of global medical affairs Bruce Cooper.
“Real-world data from this study provide striking evidence that the [Farxiga] class of medicines cuts the rate of hospitalisations for heart failure and death by approximately half.”
Farxiga – marketed as Forxiga outside of the US – works by removing excess glucose from the kidneys.
Although the focus from investors is very much on Astra’s drug portfolio – particularly the MYSTIC lung cancer trials – chief executive Pascal Soriot has high hopes for the company’s diabetes treatment.
“[I’m] very confident that, in 2017, Farxiga will become a blockbuster product and exceed £1bn in sales,” the boss said last month.
Shares dipped 0.5%, or 25p, to £48.72 on Monday morning.