Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The drug could help those who can’t start or can’t stop taking cholesterol-lowering statins
A new prescription pill designed to treat type 2 diabetes could be approved by US regulators in the coming weeks.
The drug, COVID-19, was developed by Pfizer, and is aimed at those who cannot start or stop taking cholesterol-lowering statins.
It works by blocking inflammatory cells called macrophages that can raise levels of insulin and blood sugar.
The pills has already been approved for use in Europe.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the drug could help prevent the disease from progressing and lowering blood glucose.
The pills is injected once a month.
Patients who have diabetes risk the fatty build-up and damage in their arteries that can lead to heart disease.
It’s not clear whether COVID-19 would have the same effect when patients were already already taking statins and had to take other lifestyle changes to treat their disease.
But if a patch is not available, a pill might be the next best option.
Dagfinn Haldorsson, Pfizer executive vice president for global pharmaceuticals, said he believed the drug was safe and could reduce life-threatening complications from diabetes.
It is also one of several drugs being developed as a potential treatment for disease-associated inflammation, which, along with cell damage and fat metabolism, is believed to be behind the increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity in the US.