Lizard-derived type 2 diabetes drug approved
Lizard-Derived Diabetes Drug Is Approved by the F.D.A. [NYT permalink]
A diabetes drug derived from a poisonous lizard has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, its developers, Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, said yesterday.
The drug, called Byetta, will be the first in a new class of drugs to reach the market for Type 2 diabetes, the form that usually occurs in adults. Studies have shown it can help control blood sugar and also help people lose a few pounds. The drawback for patients is that the drug must be injected twice a day and nearly half the people who use it suffer nausea, at least initially.
Analysts have said Byetta could achieve sales of hundreds of millions of dollars a year, or even more than $1 billion. Those sales could propel money-losing Amylin, a biotechnology company in San Diego, to profitability. Lilly, a drug giant that is already a leading producer of insulin, could further bolster its presence in the diabetes drug market.