Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) and partner Boehringer Ingelheim today announced positive results for no less than four phase 3 trials for their diabetes drug empagliflozin.

The trials, which enrolled more than 3,700 patients, compared empagliflozin by itself or in combination with other diabetes medications to placebo. In all four trials, the drug decreased patients' HbA1c, a measure of long-term blood sugar levels, from baseline compared to placebo. The companies plan to present the full data from the trials at upcoming medical meetings and in scientific journals.

Empagliflozin is an inhibitor of sodium glucose cotransporter-2, or SGLT-2, the same class of drug as Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and AstraZeneca's (NYSE: AZN) dapagliflozin, which was rejected by the Food and Drug Administration last year. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also have an SGLT-2 inhibitor, canagliflozin, under FDA review.

Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim plan to submit applications for regulatory review in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in 2013.


Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.