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Japan approves new type 2 diabetes treatment still under review in US

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 ... Read More

GSK’s experimental diabetes drug shows mixed results in clinical trials

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) keeps testing its experimental Type 2 diabetes drug albiglutide against other already approved diabetes drugs, but the results are less than appealing. The latest study, pitting albiglutide against Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ Actos, showed GSK’s drug did not control blood sugar better than Actos. Plus, albiglutide gave patients more gastrointestinal distress than the once-blockbuster medication Actos. It’s a hard pill to swallow for GSK, especially since another of its eight late-stage clinical studies revealed albiglutide did not work as well as Novo Nordisk’s Victoza. The one benefit albiglutide does have is that it is taken once weekly, as ... Read More

Will Novo Nordisk be the next company to drop Paula Deen for making racist comments?

Celebrity Chef Paula Deen’s confession that she has used the “N word” and told jokes that could be perceived as racist during a video deposition as part of a $1.2 million lawsuit filed against her by a former employee has landed her in a mess of trouble and it seems she just can’t bail herself out. When trying to rationalize why she told racial jokes she replied, “It’s just what they are – they’re jokes… most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks…Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know. I just don’t know – I just don’t know what ... Read More

Byetta may improve Parkinson’s symptoms but side effects are concerning

The type 2 diabetes drug Byetta may help improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms in diabetics, a small study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests. The study involved 44 people, 20 of whom were regularly given injections of Byetta. The remaining 24 were given a placebo. The patients were followed for 14 months. Patients who were given Byetta injections showed a mean improvement of symptoms of 2.7 points on the MDS-UPDRS scale, a process to measure progression of Parkinson’s disease. The group of patients who were given a placebo declined 2.2 points on the scale. Researchers noted that the findings ... Read More

Cost of diabetes rising as number of diabetics increases

The cost of diabetes rose more than 40 percent during the past five years, however the per-patient cost has remained roughly flat, according to new research that will be published in the April issue of Diabetes Care. The study, commissioned by the American Diabetes Association, estimated that diabetes cost the nation $245 billion in 2012, compared to $174 billion in 2007. Comparatively, an estimated 22.3 million people were diagnosed with the disease in 2012, compared to about 17.5 million in 2007. John Anderson, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association, said the data shows the rising cost ... Read More

GSK to pay an additional $90 million in Avandia heart attack claims

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), makers of the type 2 diabetes drug Avandia, agreed to pay $90 million to settle claims by 37 states and the District of Columbia that the drug company illegally promoted the medication and misled consumers about whether the blockbuster prescription medication caused deadly heart attacks and strokes in order to boost sales. The settlement is yet another financial blow to GSK, which has already paid more than $3 billion to resolve government investigations into questionable marketing of Avandia and other drugs. One of the charges involved the company’s failure to report safety data about Avandia. Avandia is in ... Read More

‘Lifestyle intervention’ for weight loss does not improve heart attack risk in diabetics

Longtime type 2 diabetics who undergo “lifestyle intervention” and lose weight do not reduce their heart attack and stroke risk, suggests a new study supported by the National Institutes of Health. The study focused on whether an intensive diet and exercise program resulting in weight loss would reduce the rates of heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular-related deaths in overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes. This demographic is already at greater risk for these conditions. For the study, researchers worked with more than 5,000 people. Half of the participants engaged in an intensive diet and exercise program while the ... Read More

China health officials issue warning about link between diabetes drug Actos and bladder cancer

A year after drug regulators including Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the type 2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) increased the risk of bladder cancer, health officials in China are now following suit. China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on Tuesday warned doctors and patients that studies showed Actos put users at greater risk for bladder cancer, especially if they used the drug long term. The SFDA advised patients with bladder cancer to avoid the drug if at all possible, or use it in the smallest dose possible. The agency also asked medical ... Read More

Novel new type 2 diabetes treatment shows promise in clinical trials

A novel new type 2 diabetes drug is showing good safety and efficacy in clinical trials, drug maker Poxel announced this week. Imeglimin is the first in a new chemical class of oral anti-diabetic agents, the glimins. The drug acts on three main target organs involved in glucose homeostatis – the liver, muscle and the pancreas – and thus has a distinct mode of action compared to existing treatments for type 2 diabetes. The drug appears best when paired with other treatments. Last year, Poxel reported good results in phase 2 results of Imeglimin as an add-on therapy with metformin ... Read More

New generic Actos available in US; carries same bladder cancer risk

Watson Pharmaceuticals’ newly approved generic version of the type 2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) is now available in the United States, making Watson the second company to launch a generic version of Actos in the U.S. The other generic is made by Ranbaxy Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Actos is made by Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The patent for Actos expires in 2016; however, under the terms of a 2010 legal settlement, generic versions can be marketed as early as August 17, 2012. Watson had originally made a bid to launch its generic drug in August but the Food and ... Read More