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New diabetes drug passes early tests

The drug exenatide stabilizes and can reduce blood sugar in diabetes patients for whom standard medications don't work well, two studies show.

In one trial, Ralph DeFronzo of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and his colleagues gave injections twice daily to 336 people with type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes. Some received exenatide; others got a placebo. In the other study, John Buse of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill and his team randomly assigned 377 diabetes patients to receive exenatide or a placebo. The volunteers were already taking diabetes medication: metformin (Glucophage) in the first trial and a sulfonylurea drug in the second.

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