WASHINGTON — A drug known as sulodexide has failed to show any benefit toward halting kidney failure in people with diabetes and an international trial has been stopped early, a US medical journal said Thursday.

The drug, once seen as a potentially promising treatment to reduce protein in the urine, is made by New York-based Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, which also funded the study that was meant to include more than 2,240 patients worldwide.

However, it was halted after 1,248 people enrolled because there was no difference seen in preventing kidney failure between patients who took sulodexide over a placebo, said the report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The study was led by David Packham of the Melbourne Renal Research Group in Australia.

Given the latest results and a smaller study that ran previously, "it is tempting to conclude that sulodexide has no therapeutic benefit in type 2 diabetic nephropathy," the authors wrote.

Kidney disease is common in people with diabetes because high blood sugar can cause the organs to get overworked and eventually fail.

Cases of kidney disease are expected to rise globally in the coming years in parallel with diabetes, which is expected to affect 366 million people by 2030, researchers said.