Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved Sanofi’s Type 2 diabetes treatment Lyxumia (lixsenatide). The medication is already being sold in Mexico, the European Union, and Australia, and is currently under review in the United States.
Lyxumia is the first diabetes treatment in its class in Japan. It is used in combination with basal insulin. The drug is a potent and highly selective GLP-1 peptide agonist. Other GLP-1 drugs that are marketed in the United States include Byetta and Victoza.
GLP-1 is a naturally occurring peptide that is released within minutes after one eats a meal. It is known to suppress glucagon secretion from pancreatic alpha cells and stimulate insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells. GLP-1 drugs along with diabetes treatments known as DPP-4 inhibitors, which include Januvia, are known as incretin mimetics.
Recent studies have raised significant safety concerns about incretin mimetics. The drugs have been associated with inflammatory pancreatic effects, such as acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer. The most significant risk of pancreatic effects was seen with the drugs Byetta and Januva.
Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are currently investigating cases of acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in people who took Byetta and Januva.