December 20, 2017 / 9:21 PM / a year ago

U.S. FDA approves new diabetes drug from Merck and Pfizer

Dec 20 (Reuters) - A new drug developed by Merck & Co and Pfizer Inc won U.S. approval on Wednesday to treat type II diabetes, the Food and Drug Administration said, adding another competitor to a growing class of treatments.

The oral drug, Steglatro, known generically as ertugliflozin, will compete with AstraZeneca Plc’s Farxiga, Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana and Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance.

All four drugs are known as SGLT2 inhibitors, which work by causing patients to expel excess glucose through urine.

Merck and Pfizer won approval for Steglatro as a single therapy and in fixed-dose combinations with Merck’s diabetes drug Januvia or with metformin, an older generic treatment typically given to newly diagnosed patients. Those will carry the brand names Steglujan and Segluromet, respectively.

The approvals and prescribing information were listed on the FDA and Merck websites. (Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington and Bill Berkrot in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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