Study to see if new therapy can protect against loss of kidney function in type 2 diabetes receives funding

A team of George Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health researchers led by Executive Director Professor Bruce Neal has been awarded funding for a study that could improve outcomes for millions of people around the world with a common and rapidly growing condition.

Type 2 diabetes affects 5 in 100 Australians with many going on to develop serious heart and kidney complications. Sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a new type of medicine that may provide benefit when used early in diabetes, but that are currently only used once complications have developed.

“Our study will test the value of SGLT2 inhibitor treatment for kidney protection in Australians with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes,” said Prof Neal. “A positive finding could directly impact the more than 100 000 Australians, and 23 million people worldwide, who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year.”

It is anticipated that evidence showing this class of medication could protect against loss of kidney function would see national and international treatment guidelines updated and make a strong case for the reimbursement of SGLT2 inhibitors as first line therapy in type 2 diabetes.