JT pulls plug on antidiabetes drug

Japan Tobacco Inc. said Monday it has decided to terminate the clinical development in Japan of its oral antidiabetes drug, known as JTT-501. The decision follows a careful and complete assessment of research results to date, JT said in a statement.

JTT-501, which was being developed to target non-insulin-dependent diabetes, was a JT creation and entered the clinical development stage in the spring of 1996. The drug had passed through the second phase of clinical trials.

JT said it found JTT-501 to improve insulin resistance and consequently reduce glucose levels by enhancing sensitivity in the peripheral tissue with no influence on insulin secretion. The drug was expected to be used to treat diabetic patients without causing safety issues such as abnormally low blood glucose levels and pancreas exhaustion.