Japanese drugmaker Takeda has said that its diabetes drug Actos significantly reduced the risk of recurrent stroke in high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes in a 5,238-patient study.

The new analysis of the landmark PROactive Study, which were presented at a late-breaking session of the World Congress of Cardiology in Barcelona, Spain, show that the drug reduced the incidence of recurrent stroke by 47% (p=0.008) while the combined risk of death, myocardial infarction or stroke fell 28% (p<0.05).

There was no effect of Actos on subsequent strokes in patients who had never experienced a stroke, Takeda noted.

According to Robert Wilcox, professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen's Medical Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK: "These results are very encouraging news for people with type 2 diabetes because they demonstrate that Actos reduced the incidence of strokes in patients who had already experienced a stroke from 10.2% down to 5.6%, translating to a risk reduction of almost 50%."

Initial results from PROactive, reported last year, showed that Actos reduced a broad spectrum of cardiac events - including death, stroke and heart attack - by a significant 16%, although the study did not reach significance in the primary measure of seven different macrovascular events.

In these people, the study showed that Actos could prevent 21 deaths, strokes or heart attacks per 1,000 patients over a three-year period.

Actos is co-promoted by US drug company Eli Lilly.