Introduction: There is now an abundance of anti-diabetic agents. However, only few patients achieve glycemic targets. Moreover, current glucose-lowering agents mainly depend upon insulin secretion or function. Sodium glucose co-transporter type 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors present a novel glucose-lowering therapy, inducing glycosuria in an insulin-independent fashion.
Areas covered: In this review, the authors discuss the key efficacy and safety data from phase II clinical trials in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) of the main SGLT2 inhibitors approved or currently in development, and provide a rationale for their use in T2DM.
Expert opinion: Despite the very promising characteristics of this new therapeutic class, a number of issues await consideration. One important question is what to expect from head-to-head comparison data. We also need to know if dual inhibition of SGLT1/SGLT2 is more efficacious in reducing HbA1c and how this therapy affects metabolic and cardiovascular parameters. Additionally, several SGLT2 agents that have not yet come to market have hitherto been evaluated in Asian populations, whereas approved SGLT2 inhibitors have been frequently studied in other populations, including Caucasian subjects. Thus, we need more information on the potential role of ethnicity on their efficacy and safety.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; SGLT2 inhibitors; oral hypoglycemic agents; phase II trials.