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The Associated Press November 5, 2010, 4:44PM ET

AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers diabetes drug approved

Drug makers Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca PLC said Friday that they received U.S. marketing approval for a once-a-day diabetes drug that combines the starter diabetes drug metformin with the companies' newer drug Onglyza.

The companies said the Food and Drug Administration approved Kombiglyze XR as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in adults. Kombiglyze is an extended release pill intended to be taken once a day to help control blood sugar levels. Bristol-Myers and AstraZeneca are partners on Onglyza, which was approved in August 2009. Metformin is an inexpensive drug often used as a first option for diabetes patients.

Kombiglyze is intended for use along with diet and exercise and has not been studied as a treatment for type 1 diabetes or in combination with insulin, the companies said.

Shares of Bristol-Myers, based in Princeton, N.J., dipped 14 cents to close at $26.69. Shares of London-based AstraZeneca rose 5 cents to close at $50.10.

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