Sanofi is hoping its type 2 diabetes drug Lyxumia will win approval from drug regulators in the United States and Europe and be seen as a leading contender in the heavily populated diabetes drug market.
Lyxumia is in a new class of diabetes medications called GLP-1 analogues. Drugs in this class work by propting the body to release insulin when a patient’s blood sugar level climbs too high. Previously approved drugs in this class include the brand names Byetta and Victoza.
Sanofi presented data on Lyxumia from late-stage studies recently at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes congress in Berlin. The data suggest that Lyxumia can slow down how fast food passes and can reduce blood sugar levels after a meal when given in combination with other diabetes drugs.
Drugs to treat diabetes have been under close review by drug regulators all around the world. In 2010, studies linked the type 2 medication Avandia to fatal heart attacks. A year later, studies showed Actos increased the risk for bladder cancer. Avandia and Actos are in a class of diabetes drugs known as TZDs.
Victoza, which shares the class with Lyxumia, has also been linked to thyroid cancer. The drug made headlines earlier this year when celebrity cookbook author Paula Deen announced she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years prior. She agreed to step forward with her diagnosis after signing a lucrative deal with Victoza’s makers to promote the medication.
Lyxumia is currently under review in Europe, and will be filed with the FDA for approval in the United States in December.