Bristol-Myers gets EU approval for diabetes drug

October 5, 2009 By LINDA A. JOHNSON , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Monday that its new diabetes drug, Onglyza, has been approved for sale in the European Union's 27 countries.

That means Onglyza will compete with & Co.'s blockbuster Januvia both in the EU and in the United States, where the Bristol Myers drug was approved on July 31.

Onglyza is the first diabetes drug to be launched in Europe by a partnership of New York-based Bristol-Myers and British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC to develop drugs for type 2 diabetes. It was approved for use with three other standard diabetes drugs, based on six late-stage studies including more than 4,100 patients.

Onglyza and Januvia both are in a newer class of diabetes medicines called DPP-4 inhibitors. They work by increasing insulin production and lowering the production of glucose.

Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck's Januvia and a related drug called Janumet, which includes metformin, constitute Merck's fastest-growing product line, third in overall sales with a total of $1.75 billion in revenue last year.

Onglyza is to be launched in the European Union by year's end; it's already on sale in the U.S.

Analysts have forecast that Onglyza sales could hit as high as $1 billion a year, given the alarming increase in the number of people in developed countries with diabetes. The U.S. market for diabetes medicines alone already exceeds $5 billion annually.

Meanwhile, Bristol and AstraZeneca are in late-stage testing of another potential diabetes drug, dapagliflozin, that works by helping the kidneys eliminate excess glucose.

Onglyza was approved to be used with metformin or another drug from one of two different classes that are often prescribed, along with diet and exercise, when patients are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. People with the disorder, most often caused by obesity and inadequate exercise, do not use the insulin made by their body efficiently and may eventually need injected insulin as well as pills to control the disease.

Also Monday, Bristol and AstraZeneca released results of a new study showing that Onglyza with metformin works roughly the same as Januvia with metformin, reducing a key measure of long-term blood sugar level by 0.52 percent, compared with a 0.62 percent reduction for the patients in the Januvia group.

In New York trading, Bristol-Myers shares were down 4 cents at $22.22 while AstraZeneca shares were up 64 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $44.28.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

Price tag on gene therapy for rare form of blindness: $850K

January 3, 2018
A first-of-its kind genetic treatment for blindness will cost $850,000 per patient, making it one of the most expensive medicines in the world and raising questions about the affordability of a coming wave of similar gene-targeting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.