WASHINGTON – Results from new analyses further fleshed out the potent effect by the investigational SGLT1&2 inhibitor sotagliflozin on major cardiovascular adverse events in patients with type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and at high risk for cardiovascular disease in the SCORED trial that randomized more than 10,000 patients.
In prespecified, secondary analyses of the SCORED results, treatment with sotagliflozin during a median of 16 months was linked to a significant 21% risk reduction relative to placebo for the combined incidence of total major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), which included cardiovascular death, first and recurrent episodes of nonfatal MI, and nonfatal stroke among the 5,144 randomized patients who entered the trial with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, said at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology.
Among the 5,440 patients in the study who did not have a history of CVD (although they did have at least one major risk factor or at least two minor risk factors), treatment with sotagliflozin was linked to a significant 26% relative risk reduction in total MACE events.
Part of these overall MACE benefits resulted from similar improvements from sotagliflozin treatment on the individual outcomes of total nonfatal MI and total nonfatal strokes. Treatment with sotagliflozin cut these MIs by a significant 31% in patients with a history of CVD relative to patients who received placebo, and by a relative 34% in those without a CVD event in their history, a difference compared with placebo that fell short of significance, said Dr. Bhatt, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Health, both in Boston.
Treatment with sotagliflozin also cut total nonfatal strokes by 31% relative to placebo in patients with a history of CVD, and by a relative 38% in those without a CVD history. Both differences fell short of significance.
An Early MACE Benefit and a Stroke Benefit
“This stroke benefit has not been clearly seen” with any agent from the closely related sodium-glucose cotransport-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor class, and “the MACE benefit appeared very early,” within 3 months from the start of sotagliflozin treatment, “which may be because of the SGLT1 inhibition,” Dr. Bhatt said during his report.
The SGLT1 receptor is the primary mechanism cells in the gut use to absorb glucose and galactose in the human gastrointestinal tract, Dr. Bhatt explained, while the SGLT2 receptor appears on kidney cells and is the major player in the reabsorption of filtered glucose. The SGLT2 inhibitor class includes the agents canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance), while the so-called “twincretin” sotagliflozin inhibits both SGLT1 and SGLT2.
Main results from SCORED appeared in a report first released in late 2020, and showed that for the study’s primary endpoint treatment with sotagliflozin linked with a significant 26% relative risk reduction for the composite of cardiovascular deaths, hospitalizations for heart failure, and urgent visits for heart failure (N Engl J Med. 2021 Jan 14;384:129-39). Patient follow-up in SCORED was not as long as originally planned when the study stopped early due to a loss of funding from a sponsor that was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
MACE Results ‘Heterogeneous’ From SGLT2 Inhibitors
Sotagliflozin and agents from the SGLT2 inhibitor class “have been consistent” in their benefits for reducing cardiovascular death and hospitalization for heart failure, but for MACE, the results from the SGLT2 inhibitors “have been more heterogeneous,” and the effect of sotagliflozin on MACE “were different in SCORED,” commented Michelle L. O’Donoghue, MD, MPH, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston who was not involved with this work.
“The results suggest a benefit [from sotagliflozin] on atherosclerotic events, which could be a potential advantage” compared with the SGLT2 inhibitors, “but the heterogeneity of this effect” among these agents means that more confirmatory data are needed for sotagliflozin, Dr. O’Donoghue said in an interview.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm for the concept” of combined inhibition of the SGLT1 and 2 receptors, and if more evidence for unique benefits of this effect accumulate “it may lead to increased enthusiasm for sotagliflozin,” she said. “A lot will also depend on pricing decisions” for sotagliflozin, if it receives U.S. marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Decisions about which agent from the SGLT2 inhibitor class to prescribe “are often being made based on price right now,” Dr. O’Donoghue said.
Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, the company developing sotagliflozin, has announced plans to resubmit its new drug application for sotagliflozin to the FDA later in 2022, with the agency’s approval decision likely occurring late in 2022 or sometime during 2023. In February, the company withdrew its December 2021 application to correct a “technical issue” it had found.
An additional analysis reported by Dr. Bhatt used combined data from SCORED as well as several additional randomized trials of sotagliflozin involving a total of more than 20,000 patients that showed a significant 21% reduction in the incidence of MACE compared with placebo.
During his talk, Dr. Bhatt said that sotagliflozin was potentially superior to the agents that inhibit only SGLT2. In an interview, he based this tentative assessment on at least four attributes of sotagliflozin that have emerged from trial results:
The drug’s ability to significantly reduce MACE and to have this effect apparent within a few months of treatment onset;
The significantly reduced rate of stroke with sotagliflozin (when patients are not subdivided into those with or without a history of CVD) that has not yet been seen with any SGLT2 inhibitor;
The ability of sotagliflozin to reduce hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes even when their estimated glomerular filtration rate is less than 30 mL/min per 1.73 m2, an effect not seen with SGLT2 inhibitors and possibly explained by sotagliflozin having an effect on gut absorption of glucose in addition to its SGLT2 inhibitory effect in the kidney;
And the proven ability of sotagliflozin to be safe and effective when initiated in patients hospitalized for heart failure, a property that so far has only also been shown for the SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin in the EMPULSE trial (Nature Med. 2022 Mar;28: 568-74).
SCORED was sponsored by Sanofi and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, the companies originally developing sotagliflozin, although with the withdrawal of Sanofi’s support, further development is now sponsored entirely by Lexicon. Dr. Bhatt received research funding from Sanofi and Lexicon that was paid to Brigham and Women’s Health, and he has been an advisor to numerous companies. Dr. O’Donoghue has been a consultant to Amgen, Janssen, and Novartis, and has received research funding from Amgen, AZ MedImmune, Intarcia, Janssen, Merck, and Novartis.
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.