Potential Glaxo loss could be Lilly's gain

July 30, 2007
Eli Lilly and Co. could face the juicy prospect of a $2 billion hole in the diabetes market if the Food and Drug Administration acts on a recommendation from one of its safety scientists.

David Graham is set to tell FDA advisers today to pull diabetes pill Avandia from the U.S. market, according to Bloomberg.

Avandia, made by Britain-based GlaxoSmithKline, racked up $2 billion in U.S. sales last year but has been losing market share since May, when a medical journal reported that it raised the risk of heart attacks in patients taking it.

Sales of Avandia fell 22 percent in the second quarter while sales of a Lilly diabetes pill, Byetta, rose 54 percent, to $152 million. Lilly co-markets Byetta with San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals.

Lilly also receives royalties from Actos, another competitor to Avandia, which it used to market it the United States for Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.
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