Head-to-head clinical trials can be a risky bet. If a drugmaker's product can't beat its competition, the trial becomes an advertisement for the adversary. But when the market is crowded like it is with diabetes drugs, Amylin Pharmaceuticals
Fortunately it seems to have worked out for Amylin. The press release was light on details, but its once-weekly Byetta seems to have beaten Merck's
The diabetics taking once-weekly Byetta also experienced greater weight loss than those on Januvia and Actos; the Actos patients actually gained weight over the course of the six-month trial. Considering about 90% of type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese, weight loss is certainly a nice side benefit of the drug.
Amylin and its marketing partner Eli Lilly
The once-weekly injection regimen, made possible by Alkermes'
In addition to helping with marketing, all this strong data should help the drug get past the Food and Drug Administration. The company expects to submit its marketing application by the end of next quarter.
Get that blood sugar under control, go have a banana, and read this Foolishness: