RIDGEFIELD, Conn. and INDIANAPOLIS, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced the launch of an educational campaign designed to provide healthcare professionals (HCPs) with a greater understanding of the role sodium glucose co-transporters (SGLTs) play in maintaining blood sugar balance, or glucose homeostasis. 1 The SGLT disease education initiative features the microsite www.SGLT.com and a short dynamic educational video, Glucose Perspectives, in the form of sketch animation by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Additional learning options will be offered throughout the year for HCPs to learn more about SGLTs and their role in glucose homeostasis. A chronic condition, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is characterized by persistent high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). 2 The inability to maintain normal blood sugar balance is due either to an inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin, also known as insulin resistance, or to inadequate amounts of insulin in the body as a result of impaired beta-cell function, or a combination of the two. SGLTs act to ensure glucose entering the kidneys finds its way back into the bloodstream instead of being passed in the urine. 3 Nearly all of the filtered glucose is reabsorbed in the kidneys by sodium glucose co-transporters 1 and 2, with SGLT2 accounting for about 90 percent of this re-absorption. 3 In people with T2D, persistent hyperglycemia can lead to increased re-absorption of glucose through SGLT2. 1 This means more glucose is being reabsorbed into the blood in a continuous action, which perpetuates hyperglycemia and worsens beta-cell function and insulin resistance. "The contribution of insulin resistance and impaired beta-cell function in the physiopathology of type 2 diabetes mellitus has been extensively studied," said Christophe Arbet-Engels, MD, PhD, vice president, metabolic-clinical development and medical affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "The contributing role of persistently high glucose levels in the progression of type 2 diabetes has led to the need for a better understanding of how glucose is reabsorbed by the kidneys. The Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Diabetes alliance is very pleased to offer healthcare professionals an educational resource they can use at their convenience to gain greater knowledge of this process." About DiabetesApproximately 25.8 million Americans 4 and an estimated 371 million people worldwide 5 have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. T2D is the most common type, accounting for an estimated 90 percent of all diabetes cases. 4 Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body either does not properly produce, or use, the hormone insulin. 2 Diabetes was estimated to cost the U.S. $245 billion in 2012. 6Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and CompanyIn January 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company announced an alliance in the field of diabetes that centers on three pipeline compounds representing several of the largest treatment classes. This alliance leverages the companies' strengths as two of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, combining Boehringer Ingelheim's solid track record of research-driven innovation and Lilly's innovative research, experience, and pioneering history in diabetes. By joining forces, the companies demonstrate commitment in the care of patients with diabetes and stand together to focus on patient needs. Find out more about the alliance at www.boehringer-ingelheim.com or www.lilly.com. About Boehringer IngelheimBoehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation ( Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies. The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 140 affiliates and more than 46,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim has a demonstrated commitment to corporate social responsibility. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim's endeavors.