In a journal commentary, Clifford Bailey of Aston University in Birmingham, England, cautioned that, "on the journey to approval of a new class of treatment for type 2 diabetes, many questions will be asked of [drugs such as TAK-875]," including questions of how long they might remain effective, as well as safety issues.
Other diabetes experts had mixed views on the new findings.
Dr. Loren Wissner Greene is clinical associate professor of endocrinology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She noted that glitazones -- a separate class of newer drugs such as Rezulin, Avandia and Actos that also target insulin resistance -- have all shown initial promise in clinical trials before worrisome side effects began to surface in users (Avandia was recently withdrawn from the U.S. market due to heart risks).
As for TAK-875, it targets a separate mechanism "but again, until more is known about short-term and long-term cardiovascular effects, we need to proceed with moderated enthusiasm for each new drug and drug mechanism," Wissner Greene said.
Dr. Minisha Sood, endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City stressed that, "given the rising global incidence of type 2 diabetes, the medical community is eagerly awaiting the development of novel agents to add to our existing armamentarium of anti-diabetic agents."
She said that, "though this study includes a small sample size followed for a short period of time, the results are promising in that TAK-875 appears to be effective for glycemic [blood sugar] control without significant risk for hypoglycemia or weight gain. However, like Wissner-Greene, Sood said that "further investigation is warranted, especially including [heart disease] patients."
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