A total of 183 new medicines to treat diabetes and related conditions are under clinical development by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the US or awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, a new pipeline report says.

The report issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) shows that 42 of these medicines are either in Phase III clinical trials or the subject of an approval application filed with the FDA.

The tally reflects a rising tide of new diabetes cases and deaths in the US, where the condition affects around 8% of the population or more than 20 million Americans, a third of whom are unaware they have the disease, PhRMA notes.

A 2008 study by the US Centers for Disease Control revealed that the rate of new diabetes cases among US adults had risen by more than 90% over the previous 10 years. The death rate from diabetes had increased by 45% since 1987, while deaths from heart disease, stroke and cancer had declined.

According to the American Diabetes Association, most Americans have type 2 diabetes while between 5% and 10% have type 1. Among the medicines listed by PhRMA as in development, 133 are for type 2 diabetes, 26 for type 1, 15 for unspecified diabetes and 19 for diabetes-related conditions (some medicines appear in more than one category).