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Jardiance Slows Kidney Disease Progression in Large Study

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Jardiance Slows Kidney Disease Progression in Large Study

Jardiance (empagliflozin), a drug developed as a glucose-lowering treatment for type 2 diabetes, has been shown to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease in a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Along with Farxiga (dapagliflozin) and Invokana (canagliflozin), Jardiance belongs to the SGLT2 inhibitor family of type 2 diabetes drugs. These drugs have been found to have powerful health benefits aside from blood glucose control — namely heart protection and protection against serious kidney problems. Unfortunately, these drugs are also more expensive than other type 2 diabetes treatments like metformin, and their growing popularity has coincided with disparities in access to these drugs. In addition to their approvals for diabetes, Farxiga has been approved as a treatment for chronic kidney disease and a common form of heart failure, while Jardiance has so far gained additional approval only for heart failure.

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Decreased risk of kidney disease progression with Jardiance

For the latest study, 6,609 participants with chronic kidney disease were randomly assigned to receive either Jardiance (10 milligrams once daily) or a placebo (inactive pill) for a median duration of two years. During the study period, progression of kidney disease or death from cardiovascular causes occurred in 13.1% of participants in the Jardiance group and in 16.9% of participants in the placebo group — representing a 28% lower risk for this combined outcome in the Jardiance group. These results were found to be consistent among participants with or without diabetes, as well as among participants with varying levels of kidney function. The risk for hospitalization from any cause was also 14% lower in the Jardiance group, but there was no significant difference between the two groups when it came to the combined risk of hospitalization for heart failure and death from cardiovascular causes.

As described in an announcement from Jardiance manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim in March 2022, the study was ended early — after interim results were announced — based on the recommendation of an independent data monitoring committee. This decision was made due to the clear benefit Jardiance had in people with chronic kidney disease, making it unnecessary to continue with the study. It is all but certain that Boehringer Ingelheim and its partner company Lilly will use the latest results to seek approval of the drug as a treatment for chronic kidney disease.

This study “included a range of adults with kidney disease who have been excluded from, or under-represented in, previous trials focusing on the use of SGLT2 inhibitors to slow kidney disease progression,” said Jeff Emmick, MD, vice president of product development at Lilly, in the March announcement. “The early stop of the trial is a tremendous step toward our goal of improving the lives of adults living with kidney disease.”

Want to learn more about keeping your kidneys healthy with diabetes? Read “Managing Diabetic Kidney Disease,” “How to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy,” “Protecting Your Kidneys,” and “Kidney Disease: Your Seven-Step Plan for Prevention.”

Quinn Phillips

Quinn Phillips

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A freelance health writer and editor based in Wisconsin, Phillips has a degree from Harvard University. He is a former Editorial Assistant for Diabetes Self-Management and has years of experience covering diabetes and related health conditions. Phillips writes on a variety of topics, but is especially interested in the intersection of health and public policy.

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