- In a clinical trial designed to evaluate cardiovascular (CV) outcomes, Jardiance (empagliflozin), co-marketed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim, significantly reduced the risk of CV death.
- Jardiance is part of a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. Other drugs in this class include AstraZeneca's Farxiga and Janssen's Invokana.
- The stock rallied on the news, which (if the results hold) truly represents a major breakthrough in the medical community. The stock, which was trading at $88.58 at the open this morning is considered a "buy." Analyst Jeffrey Holford at Jefferies has affixed a target price of $115, up from $105, for Lilly's stock.
In the world of diabetes therapeutics, this could be a true advance.
Consider this: According to the American Diabetes Association, two-thirds of people with diabetes die from either heart attack or stroke. In fact, they are two to four times as likely to have heart disease, compared with people who do not have diabetes. The two conditions—type 2 diabetes and CV disease—are intrinsically linked. At the same time, a major concern with certain antidiabetic drugs (most recently the DPP-IV inhibitors) has been whether or not they increase the risk of negative CV outcomes.
Now along comes this new data—the first diabetes drug study to ever show a CV outcomes benefit in a single study---with groundbreaking results. According to the study, treatment with Jardiance, along with standard of care, not only decreased the risk of CV death by 38%, but it also resulted in a lower risk of all-cause mortality (a 32% reduction), as well as a 35% reduction in the rate of hospitalization due to heart failure.
This new data is still being digested, but it is more than likely to shift the type 2 diabetes prescribing paradigm in favor or Jardiance, and will likely have a positive effect on the overall SGLT-2 inhibitor class.