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Sitagliptin, a new investigational treatment for type 2 diabetes, may offer new hope for patients

There are currently more than 194 million people with diabetes worldwide and this figure could exceed 333 million by 2025 if untreated. [2] Current treatments for type 2 diabetes are often limited by their side effect profile, route of administration or difficulties in sustaining glucose control. [3] As a result, there is a need for better tolerated treatments that do not cause weight gain and produce less risk of hypoglycaemia for patients with type 2 diabetes. The results of the two Phase II studies indicate that sitagliptin, an investigational diabetes drug, appears to control blood sugar with a low incidence of hypoglycaemia and with a neutral effect on body weight.

In the Phase II studies of more than 1,000 patients, ''sitagliptin'', Merck Sharp & Dohme's investigational medicine from a new class of diabetes treatments called dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, improved glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and exhibited a safety and tolerability profile similar to placebo. In addition, patients taking sitagliptin experienced no significant weight gain and a low risk of hypoglycaemia.

"Results from the studies conducted to date are very promising," said Peter Stein, Senior Director in Clinical Research, Metabolism, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ, USA. "The need for well tolerated therapies which achieve better glycaemic control than current therapies is well known and we are confident that these short-term clinical studies demonstrate proof of concept for sitagliptin, offering a new hope for type 2 diabetes patients. Ongoing Phase III trials should provide greater insight into the efficacy and tolerability profile of sitagliptin over a longer period of time".

Study 1: Effect of sitagliptin oral tablets on glycaemic control
Results from a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study in patients with type 2 diabetes showed that sitagliptin oral tablets significantly r
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Contact: Catherine Pannell
cpannell@hillandknowlton.com
44-207-413-3059
Merck & Co., Inc.
14-Sep-2005


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