Lilly diabetes drug matches competitors' effectiveness

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

One of Eli Lilly and Co.’s experimental diabetes drugs was as effective at lowering blood sugar levels as the leading drug on the market, according to results of a study announced Tuesday by Lilly.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker said its drug dulaglutide showed “non-inferiority” when tested against the strongest dose of Victoza, a best-selling drug for Type 2 diabetics made by Denmark-based Novo Nordisk A/S.

The study of 599 patients examined the effect on hemoglobin A1c scores, a measure of diabetes control.

Lilly said it would wait to disclose detailed results of its Phase 3 clinical trial of the two drugs until scientific meetings later this year. But the result is good news for Lilly, which is counting on dulaglutide and a few other drugs it plans to launch this year to rejuvenate its sales after the patent expiration in December of its top-selling drug, Cymbalta.

Before the latest study, Wall Street analysts predicted dulaglutide could achieve $1.5 billion a year in sales. Victoza generated $2.07 billion in 2013 sales for Novo Nordisk, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and was the top seller in its class.

Dulaglutide has already proved itself superior to other diabetes drugs, including metformin, Byetta and Januvia, in clinicial studies announced last year.

But showing itself as good as Victoza should help Lilly secure better pricing from health insurers and state-run health plans.

“An approvable product is no longer the finish line for the industry. It’s a reimbursable product,” Mark Cziraky, vice president of research at HealthCore, a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., told IBJ last year.

Dulaglutide is part of Lilly’s strategy to have a medication in every major class of therapy for diabetics. The company plans to use that portfolio to offer doctors a broad spectrum of treatments as well as to negotiate deals with health insurers and pharmacy managers.

“Options that allow patients to more easily use the treatment are, we believe, important,” said Sherry Martin, Lilly’s senior medical director, who oversaw the drug’s late-stage clinical trial.

Dulaglutide has been submitted to U.S. regulators for approval, with a decision expected by September. It would be the only once-a-week injection that doesn’t also require patients to prepare the dose, as AstraZeneca Plc’s Bydureon does.

In Lilly’s study, patients were given either 1.5 weekly milligrams of dulaglutide or 1.8 daily milligrams of Victoza, and their A1c scores were followed over 26 weeks. Lilly said that side effects were similar for both groups.

Both dulaglutide and Victoza are part of a class called GLP-1 receptor agonists. They tell the body to make more insulin when needed, as well as reduce the body’s sugar production.

About 25.8 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, or almost 8 percent of the population, according to the American Diabetes Association. The Type 2 form of the illness occurs when the body loses its natural ability to control sugar using insulin produced by the pancreas. It can be caused by obesity.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.