US regulators have expanded the scope of Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly's Synjardy to include treatment-naïve adults with type II diabetes.

Synjardy is a combination of empagliflozin (marketed as Jardiance) and metformin - two medicines with complementary mechanisms of action - to help control blood glucose in adults with the condition.

Empagliflozin is a sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor that removes excess glucose through the urine by blocking glucose re-absorption in the kidney. Metformin lowers glucose production by the liver and its absorption in the intestine.

The treatment is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycaemic control in adults with type II diabetes when treatment with both empagliflozin and metformin is appropriate.

"Type II diabetes is a complex condition, which often requires that people take more than one treatment to manage their blood sugar," said Paul Fonteyne, Boehringer's president and chief executive.

"The expanded indication for Synjardy further validates the potential of this combination therapy to help adults with type 2 diabetes who are not at goal, including those already being treated and, now, those at the beginning of their treatment journey."

Around 29 million Americans and an estimated 415 million people worldwide have diabetes.