Bristol-Myers Squibb

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says early testing of a new diabetes medication shows no serious side effects and reduces one measure of blood sugar.

The drug is called dapagliflozin, but it's many years away from commercialization even under a best-case scenario.

The drug, still in the second phase of three stages of clinical testing, tries a different approach to blood sugar control, by discouraging the kidneys from reabsorbing the glucose that's contained in urine. The drug is being tested as a once-a-day treatment for Type 2 diabetics, whose bodies don't produce enough sugar-burning insulin or don't adequately process insulin.

Company researchers said a test of 47 patients showed that multiple doses of the drug by itself, or with a generic blood-sugar control pill metformin, showed "no serious adverse events." No one quit the study because of side effects. Dapagliflozin patients were compared to people receiving a placebo.

The test, which tracked patients for two weeks, said the drug caused a statistically significant drop in fasting serum glucose, a measurement of blood sugar after a person hasn't eaten for eight to 12 hours.

Data for the drug, called a sodium-glucose transporter 2 inhibitor, or SGLT2 inhibitor, was presented late Sunday in Chicago at the annual scientific conference of the American Diabetes Association.

The SGLT2 inhibitor is one of two Bristol-discovered diabetes medications for which the company has entered a marketing and development deal with

AstraZeneca

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. The other is saxagliptin, which is in Phase 3 clinical testing.

Saxagliptin seeks to reduce blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin and by signaling the liver to make less glucose. Saxagliptin is called a DPP-4 inhibitor. The only DPP-4 drugs on the market are

Merck's

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Januvia and Janumet.