New 'super' type 2 diabetes medication gets FDA approval

A new type 2 diabetes medication made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals that combines doses of two diabetes medications has been approved by the FDA.

The drug, called Invokamet XR, is a combination of canagliflozin, a sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor found in Janssen’s Invokana, and an XR formulation of metformin, a commonly prescribed therapy for type 2 diabetes, Janssen said in a statement. Invokamet was approved by the FDA in August 2014.

The combination reduces A1C significantly more than metformin alone, studies show.

"Invokamet XR offers the convenience of once-daily dosing and provides physicians needed flexibility for tailoring treatment to the needs of type 2 diabetes patients, especially those with higher A1C levels," said John Anderson, MD, an internal medicine physician at Frist Clinic in Nashville, Tennessee. "As with Invokamet, physicians can prescribe the XR formulation to adults when they are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or as additional therapy for people whose A1C levels are not well controlled with either agent alone."

The medication will be available in four dosages, with a recommended dosing of two tablets daily with food in the morning.

"The approval of Invokamet XR is further evidence of our ongoing commitment to provide new treatment options for people with type 2 diabetes," said Paul Burton, M.D, PhD, vice president of medical affairs at Janssen. "Our Invokana portfolio now offers physicians even more choices for helping patients improve control of A1C levels and other important health measures, with numerous dosing options for monotherapy and for combination therapy with both metformin and metformin XR."