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Roche Scraps Development of Diabetes Drug, Aleglitazar

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

The pharmaceutical giant F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. has announced that it is scrapping development for its experimental diabetes drug aleglitazar, claiming that the drug did not effectively reduce cardiovascular events in diabetes patients.

About Aleglitazar

Aleglitazar was under development as a possible treatment for metabolic syndromes which can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Researchers believed that by acting on peroxisome proliferator – activated receptors (PPARs), aleglitazar would allow for better regulation of cellular differentiation, development, and metabolism.

However, the drug became a point of controversy in July 2013 when the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) recommended that clinical trials for the drug be halted due to concerns of safety and lack of efficacy.

According to the DSMB, data collected during Roche’s AleCardio trial suggested that study participants had been exposed to an increased risk of toxicity, cardiovascular events, and bone fractures due to treatment with aleglitazar.  

Similar concerns were cited by the American College of Cardiology in a release on Tuesday, in which the organization claimed that PPAR agonists like aliglitazar have also been linked to an increased risk of hypoglycemia and cancer.

Side-Effects Linked to Aleglitazar

The following adverse events have been linked to aleglitazar:

  • Cardiovascular events
  • Renal abnormalities
  • Bone fractures
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Headache
  • Edema
  • Fatigue
  • Upper respiratory tract infection


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