Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co's experimental drug to treat type 2 diabetes met the main goal of a mid-stage trial to test its effect on blood pressure and heart rate.
The results of the study showed that the effect of Lilly's drug, dulaglutide, on systolic blood pressure was comparable to that of a placebo.
Makers of type 2 diabetes pills are required by the U.S. health regulator to prove that the drugs do not increase the risk of heart attacks or other heart problems.
Dulaglutide, which is being tested as a once-weekly treatment for type 2 diabetes, was also able to significantly reduce HbA1c, or average blood glucose levels over a three-month period, compared with a placebo at the end of 16 and 26 weeks.
The most common adverse events in the non-inferiority study were gastrointestinal, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, the company said.
Lilly added that a dosage of 1.5 mg dulaglutide showed statistically significant reductions in mean 24-hour systolic blood pressure compared with a placebo during superiority testing.
The study included 755 type 2 diabetes patients on one or more oral diabetes medication. About 67 percent of the patients had a pre-existing diagnosis of hypertension.
Shares of the company were slightly up at $40.65 on Tuesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Adithya Venkatesan in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)