French drugmaker Sanofi said a late-stage study of its lixisenatide drug in combination with Lantus insulin showed a significant improvement in blood sugar levels and a beneficial effect on body weight in type 2 diabetes patients.

Lixisenatide, which will be sold under the Lyxumia brand name, belongs to the GLP-1 class of drugs that stimulate insulin release when glucose levels become too high.

It is seen as a possible blockbuster that could help Sanofi become the world's top diabetes treatment company.

"These positive results show that once-daily lixisenatide in combination with Lantus could be an innovative therapeutic option for the treatment of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes," Pierre Chancel, senior vice-president of Sanofi Diabetes, said in a statement on Tuesday.

European authorities accepted Sanofi's marketing application for Lyxumia last month, while the company plans to file a request for regulatory approval for the drug in the United States in the fourth quarter of next year, Sanofi said.