EASD: Boehringer Ingelheim, Lilly's Jardiance holds CV benefit regardless of blood sugar starting point

BI and Lilly's Jardiance was the first diabetes med to show it could improve cardiovascular outcomes for patients.

LISBON, Portugal—Back in 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly were the first drugmakers to show that a diabetes med could cut the risk of cardiovascular death, and they’re still working to capitalize on that advantage.

Tuesday at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) annual meeting, the pair rolled out a subanalysis of the game-changing Empa-reg Outcome study showing that the death-risk reduction held true for patients regardless of what their blood sugar was when they enrolled in the study.

A separate subanalysis showed that the benefit stayed consistent with that of the overall trial population in patients who were already taking metformin or sulfonylurea, two meds that have traditionally been used as first-line therapies.

As Rogelio Braceras, BI’s metabolism head of clinical development and medical affairs, put it in an interview, those results are “very applicable.”

“Sometimes in general, there’s some data that perhaps is very scientific and very futuristic, but this is something that is relevant today,” he said.

BI and Lilly have been parsing the data ever since Jardiance showed it could pare down the combined rate of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death among high-risk type 2 diabetes patients—and that it could cut the risk of cardiovascular death by 38%.

RELATED: What helps Lilly, BI's Jardiance slash CV death risk? Not blood pressure, lipid or HbA1c reductions: study

At the American Diabetes Association (ADA) annual meeting in June, the partners rolled out data showing that Jardiance reduced the risks of cardiovascular death, all-cause mortality and hospitalizations from heart failure to the same extent even when results were adjusted to control for blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and HbA1c—a key measure of blood glucose levels. They've also started trials of the med in both heart failure and kidney disease.

And there’s more to come. “We are conducting several additional subanalyses that of course we will present in the future,” Braceras said, adding that, “the most important thing is we’re committed. We’re not stopping.”

RELATED: Johnson and Johnson's Invokana matches Jardiance's 14% reduction in major CV events—but doubles amputation risk, too

Meanwhile, after unveiling its own cardiovascular outcomes data at ADA, rival Johnson & Johnson will have subanalyses of its own to present later in the week.