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Lilly, Boehringer's diabetes drug shows promise

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co and German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc said data from two trials of their experimental diabetes treatment showed the drug reduced blood pressure in patients.

Diabetes patients are prone to high blood pressure, which can raise the risk of other health complications.

The drug, empagliflozin, is part of a class of drugs called SGLT-2 inhibitors that have been shown to reduce blood glucose by acting independently of insulin action.

"Most classes of currently available oral type 2 diabetes treatments depend on the actions of the hormone insulin to lower elevated blood glucose," said Christophe Arbet-Engels, vice president of metabolic-clinical development and medical affairs at Boehringer.

"The emerging SGLT-2 inhibitor class removes glucose through the urine by blocking glucose re-absorption in the kidney."

The pooled analysis included data from two trials that tested the safety and efficacy of empagliflozin alone or as add-on to metformin in adult patients with type 2 diabetes.

The companies also said data from three trials of their already-approved diabetes drug Tradjenta showed that the drug lowered hemoglobin A1c, a standard measure of blood sugar control, in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes.

(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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