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Merck's Januvia launches in UK
Januvia, a once-daily pill that lowers blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, has been launched in the UK, its first European market. Januvia is the first dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor to be approved for use in the EU.
Merck Sharp & Dohme's DPP-4 blocker is the first in a new class of type 2 diabetes therapies that enhances the body's own ability to keep blood sugar levels balanced. It is indicated in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycaemic control as an add-on to metformin or a thiazolidinedione when diet and exercise or therapy alone do not provide adequate glycaemic control.
This new approach to the treatment of type 2 diabetes works by enhancing pancreatic islet cell function, a fundamental defect in type 2 diabetes, to promote insulin secretion by the pancreas and inhibit glucagon production, the latter resulting in reduced glucose production by the liver.
In clinical studies, the most common side effects of Januvia (sitagliptin) were upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat and diarrohea, and it showed a low incidence of hypoglycaemia and weight gain, troublesome side effects of various other oral diabetes medications.
150,000 an hour
Around two-thirds of adults with type 2 diabetes fail to reach recommended levels of glycaemic control despite pharmacological interventions. The UK's National Health Service spends around 150,000 every hour on diabetes control, with the majority of this money spent on treating complications.
Januvia diabetes drug launches strong
Wed, 22 Nov 2006
Januvia, the new diabetes drug created by Merck and Co, has been showing a strong initial success. The news comes from a survey conducted by a market research company called ImpactRx Inc. They obtained their results by tracking free samples and new prescriptions.
Januvia is the first (and currently only following the delay of FDA approval for Galvus) in a new class of diabetes drug. The aggressive marketing campaign initiated by Merck appears to be working well, with physicians and specialists eager to embrace the new treatment. The drug apparently accounted for 14 per cent of new prescriptions written last week, instantly placing Januvia as a rival to several more established diabetes brands .
Industry experts who forecasted Januvia competing with Avandia have been proved correct. The senior vice president of strategic development at ImpactRX, Patrick Angelastro, said: "In situations where physicians are making a brand choice, it's clear that Januvia is off to a strong start and Merck looks to be putting the promotional muscle behind it to make that happen."
Januvia does not have any weight gain side effects, whereas both Avandia and Actos have been linked to weight gain. The drug promises to have a major impact on the diabetes drug market, and the quality of life for many diabetics.
New data on DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin (Januvia) in diabetes
Date Published 15/06/2006
Source- PharmaTimes
Merck has presented new data at the American Diabetes Association meeting, on Januviaž (sitagliptin phosphate), its oral, once-daily treatment for type 2 diabetes drug. The company claims that the drug was at least as effective as glipizide in patients who had failed to respond to prior treatment with metformin. After one year's treatment, 63% of patients on sitagliptin had a haemoglobin A1c level of less than 7%, vs 59% on glipizide group. In addition, patients on the new treatment experienced weight loss after a year, while those on glipizide gained weight over the course of the study. Merck also presented data reinforcing the hypothesis that the drug improved the function of pancreatic beta cells. Januvia was accepted for US regulatory review earlier this year, and if approved, would be the first in a new class of oral drugs, known as the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors.
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