AstraZeneca's fast-rising diabetes med Farxiga jumps into the COVID-19 fray

AstraZeneca's high-profile SGLT2 diabetes med Farxiga is looking at a bright future with big FDA decisions in heart failure and kidney disease right around the corner. Now, the British drugmaker is testing it as a potential coronavirus therapy, too.

AstraZeneca has launched a phase 3 trial evaluating Farxiga as a treatment for severe COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular, metabolic or kidney risk factors that increase the probability of severe complications, including organ failure, the drugmaker said Thursday. 

The global, double-blind study, dubbed Dare-19, will be conducted in partnership with St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute and will enroll around 900 patients at U.S. and European clinical sites. 

The Dare-19 trial will study Farxiga's effect on top of supportive care in reducing the progression of COVID-19 symptoms as well as cutting the risk of clinical complications and death, AstraZeneca said. Patients enrolled in the study will have conditions associated with a higher rate of COVID-19 complications, including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease, among others. 

The study's primary endpoint will be time to first occurrence of organ dysfunction or death in the first 30 days of follow-up after treatment, AstraZeneca said. 

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