IBJNews

Lilly’s experimental diabetes drug helps patients lose weight

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Patients taking Eli Lilly and Co.’s experimental diabetes drug dulaglutide lost weight and had side effects that were manageable, the company said over the weekend after releasing more data from three final-stage clinical trials.

Lilly released top-line results from the company-sponsored trials last year, when it reported more patients taking the therapy had blood glucose levels indicating their disease was under control than those given Merck & Co.’s top-selling drug Januvia and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Byetta. The data released Saturday had details of those results, as well as side effect and weight-loss information.

Lilly’s drug, if approved, may be a significant competitor to Novo Nordisk A/S’s Victoza, which generated $1.64 billion in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A clinical trial comparing the drugs may report results by the end of the year.

“We look at the space and we feel we have an opportunity to offer a significant new product,” said Sherry Martin, senior medical director for diabetes development at Indianapolis-based Lilly. The company plans to submit the drug to U.S. regulators for approval by the end of this year, she said. The studies were presented as part of the American Diabetes Association meeting in Chicago.

“Dulaglutide data suggests a profile that may be sufficient to demonstrate superiority versus Victoza in the head-to-head study,” said Sachin Jain, an analyst with Bank of America Corp. In a June 17 note to clients, he cut his rating on Novo shares to neutral from buy because of the Lilly data. The drug “represents a significant threat to Victoza market share,” Jain said.

Diabetes drugs

Merck, Bristol-Myers, and Johnson & Johnson also have competing diabetes therapies on the market. Dulaglutide is in a class known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. The injection mimics the function of a digestive hormone that stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin after meals.

The class of drugs, along with another group called DPP-4 that includes Januvia, are under scrutiny by U.S. regulators over whether they may cause cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has asked companies to gather more data on the safety of the therapies.

Diabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar gets too high and the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin effectively to control the level. An estimated 347 million people worldwide, including about 25.8 million Americans, have the disease according to global health authorities. The condition can lead to heart disease, stroke and blindness.

Sales estimates

Dulaglutide is projected to sell $835 million in 2018, according to the average of six analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Martin said the drug would be the only weekly injection in the class that doesn’t require patients to prepare the dose for administration.

In about 900 patients taking dulaglutide, 54 percent of those on the higher dose had hemoglobin A1c scores under 7 percent, a measure of whether the disease is in check. That compared with 31 percent on Merck’s Januvia.

In another trial of about 1,000 patients taking dulaglutide or Bristol-Myers’s Byetta, along with two other diabetes drugs, 71 percent of patients on dulaglutide had hemoglobin A1c under 7 percent after a year, compared with 59 percent on Byetta.

Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst with ISI Group LLC in New York, was less positive about the results. Dulaglutide looks “undifferentiated from J&J’s Invokana and Bristol-Myer’s Bydureon,” Schoenebaum said in a June 17 note to clients, after the trial results became available online but before they were released for publication by news outlets. “This is in-line or slightly better than investors’ expectations.”

Weight loss

Patients also lost more weight on dulaglutide than on the other two medications. Those on the highest dose of Lilly’s drug lost 2.9 kilograms after two years, compared with 1.8 kilograms for patients on Merck’s Januvia. In the other trial, they lost 1 kilogram after one year on the dulaglutide compared with 0.7 kilograms with Bristol-Myers’s drug.

“The modest weight loss is important,” Martin said. “Other medications that can deliver this glycemic control do that with weight gain.”

Lilly also reported side effect data from the trials. Drugs such dulaglutide can cause gastrointestinal upset while patients get adjusted to the medication, though it usually goes away after a few days, Martin said. Less than 3 percent of patients quit taking Lilly’s drug because of the side effect, she said.

Lilly shares were down 1.6 percent Monday morning, to $48.92 each, along with a general fall in the market.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Bravo Lilly diabetes treatment
    (The drug dulaglutide, a once-weekly injectable that is meant for adult-onset diabetes, helped patients lose weight and control their blood sugar better than several already-marketed drugs, Lilly’s studies showed._ WOW! A new diabetes treatment that has beneficial weight loss as a side effect.This is similar to Metformin propertie. Remember-Zyprexa (Olanzapine) Diabetes connection conflict of interest. Eli Lilly made $70 billion to date,paid $1.4 billion in criminal fines. Thousands got diabetes as Zyprexa side effect and have to take Lilly insulin to treat the diabetes that was caused by their Zyprexa. Eli Lilly Zyprexa can ruin your Pancreas and make you a type 2 diabetic in just a few months of use.I took it 1996-2000 and now am a diabetic for it. 'Atypical' antipsychotic Zyprexa is the worst offender of them all.Google-Haszard Zyprexa - got a page up. -Daniel Haszard

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
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
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I still don't understand how the FBI had any right whatsoever to investigate this elderly collector. Before the Antiquities Act it was completely legal to buy, trade or collect Native American artifacts. I used to see arrow heads, axes, bowls, corn grinders at antique shops and flea markets for sale and I bought them myself. But that was in the late 60's and early 70's. And I now know that people used to steal items from sites and sell them. I understand that is illegal. But we used to find arrow heads and even a corn grinder in our back yard when I was a child. And I still have those items today in my small collection.

  2. I lived in California and they had many of the things noted in the proposed suggestions from the "Blue Ribbon Panel". California is near financial collapse now. Let's not turn the great state of Indiana into a third world dump like California.

  3. The temporary closure of BR Avenue will get a lot of attention. But, one thing reported by the IndyStar really stands out to me, and is extraordinarily depressing: “Police also have agreed to crack down on noise violations, traffic violations and public intoxication.” In other words, the police have generously agreed to do their jobs (temporarily, at least), instead of just standing around waiting for someone to call 911. When is someone in this department going to get off their fat arse (looking at you, Chief), get their minds out of 1975-era policing and into 2014, and have his department engage in pro-active work instead of sitting around waiting for someone to be shot? Why in the hell does it take 7 people getting shot in one night in one of the city’s biggest tourist destinations, to convince the police (reluctantly, it would appear) that they actually need to do their f’n jobs? When is the Chief going to realize that there’s a huge, direct, proven correlation between enforcing the law (yes, all laws, especially those affecting quality of life) and preventing larger crimes from occurring? Is it racial BS? Is that what this extraordinary reluctance is all about? Is the department and the city terrified that if they do their jobs, they might offend someone? Whom, exactly? Will the victims of violence, murder, assault, rape, robbery, and theft be offended? Will the citizens who have to tolerate their deteriorating quality of life be offended? Will the businesses who see their customers flee be offended? Or, is it simple ignorance (maybe the Chief hasn’t heard about NYC’s success in fighting crime - it’s only the biggest g*&#am city in the country, after all)? Either way, Chief, if you don’t want to do your job, then step down. Let someone who actually wants the job take it.

  4. I thought Indiana had all the funding it needed for everything. That's why the state lottery and casino gambling were allowed, as the new tax revenue would take care of everything the state wanted to do.The recommendations sound like they came from California. Better think about that. What is the financial condition of that state?

  5. I was a fan of WIBC in the morning, Steve was the only WIBC host that I listened too, he gave the news with so much flare that I enjoyed listening to him on my way to work. Katz is no Steve. Sadly, I will not be listening to WIBC anymore.

ADVERTISEMENT