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New Diabetes Drug Gets FDA Panel's Backing

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An unapproved diabetes drug called saxagliptin has won the endorsement of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel of experts, who said the drug doesn't appear to raise users' risks of heart attack or stroke, the Dow Jones news service reported Wednesday.

The FDA panel voted 10-2 to recommend approval by the full agency, which isn't bound by the experts' decision but usually follows such recommendations.

Concern about possible cardiovascular side effects stemmed, in part, from a 2007 study that linked the widely prescribed diabetes drug Avandia to an increased risk of heart attack, Dow Jones reported. The FDA has since strengthened guidelines regulating such drugs.

The full FDA could make a decision on saxagliptin's fate by the end of April, the news service said. If approved, the drug would be sold under the brand name Onglyza. It was developed by pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca.

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