Eli Lilly Gets Positive Results on Diabetes Drug Trials
After three late-stage trials, drug giant Eli Lilly showed that its new diabetes drug dulaglutide provided better blood sugar control than Byetta, Januvia, and metformin. Dulaglutide belongs to the same class of drugs as Byetta and Januvia, known as incretin mimetics. Lilly plans to seek FDA approval for the drug in late 2013.
Eli Lilly is also highlighting the fact that patients lost more weight on dulaglutide than competitors as well. Lilly hopes that its drug can compete directly with blockbuster Victoza, which brought in $1.64 billion in 2012. After several other promising drugs in development failed, Eli Lilly is banking on dulaglutide.
There are several incretin mimetic drugs already on the market, and with the controversy that has surrounded these drugs from the beginning, it is difficult to see any motivation other than a financial one for Eli Lilly’s push to get another one approved. Criticism has mounted that these drugs have much higher rates of complications of diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic and thyroid cancer, and renal failure. Some scientists have gone as far as to say that these drugs have no benefit over older diabetes treatments, and only offer a range of dangerous complications.
Only time will tell if dulaglutide will join the other incretin mimetics in their list of serious side effects.