July 31, 2008 / 12:32 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-AtheroGenics diabetes drug trial meets main goal

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BANGALORE, July 31 (Reuters) - AtheroGenics Inc AGIX.O said both doses of its experimental drug, AGI-1067, met the main goal in a late-stage trial to treat type 2 diabetes to reduce blood sugar levels, sending its shares up about 60 percent.

In the trial known as ANDES, the company studied two doses of the drug, 75 mg and 150 mg, given once daily over six months to patients with Type 2 diabetes compared to placebo.

AtheroGenics said it observed regional variation in the placebo arm, where patients in eastern Europe showed a significant decrease of blood sugar levels in the placebo arm. The company said it will continue to analyze the trial data, including the impact of regional differences.

The company will conduct an additional trial as part of the development plan with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Chief Executive Russell Medford said.

AtheroGenics is in ongoing partner discussions but the company cannot give further details until a deal is finalized or otherwise, Medford added.

AGI-1067 was originally studied as a heart drug but failed to reduce major cardiovascular events. However, those trial results showed that it could in theory help fight diabetes.

AtheroGenics was studying the drug to determine the optimal dose for glycemic control in the ANDES trial.

In November 2007, the company discontinued studying the 300 mg dose of AGI-1067, after a review of the occurrence of bad effects on the liver and discussions with U.S health regulators.

Shares of AtheroGenics were trading up at 87 cents on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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