A second study on the diabetes drug rimonabant confirms that it significantly controls blood sugar and body weight in patients with type 2 diabetes who have not been treated for diabetes before.

Sanofi Aventis who manufacture the drug under the name Acomplia, announced the results of the study, known as the SERENADE trial, at an international diabetes congress in Cape Town earlier today, Tuesday.

The trial achieved not only significant reduction in blood sugar levels but also in patient body weight – 6.7 kg compared to 2.7 kg in the placebo group. Results also showed improvements in (good) HDL cholesterol and triglicerides. This is unlike many currently approved diabetes treatments, where weight gain is a common and unwelcome side effect.

“This study suggests that rimonabant can achieve improvement in blood glucose with the added benefit of significant weight loss and improvement in other risk factors” said trial investigator Julio Rosenstock, MD, Director of the Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Medical City and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas.

Nearly 300 patients throughout the US and six other countries took part in the SERENADE trial. The drug rimonabant is not currently available in the US although it has been approved in Europe.

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 is often diagnosed in childhood as a result of the body’s inability to produce enough insulin for it to make effective use of blood sugar. Type 2, which used to be called “late onset diabetes”, develops as we get older and is caused by the body not being able to use insulin effectively. It is usually associated with being overweight or having an overly sedentary lifestyle. Thus weight reduction is often a desirable part of the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Click here to see a summary report of the study.

Written by: Catharine Paddock
Writer: Medical News Today