Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) has a reason to celebrate as their insulin drug registered better results than the current top-selling drug called Lantus that was developed by Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY).
Lilly’s insulin recorded better results in terms of blood sugar reduction for type two diabetes compared to Lantus. The data was collected from Phase III trials. Researchers found that the blood sugar levels of patients who took the drug went down to the 7% target that is recommended by the American Diabetes Association. The new drug is known as basal insulin peglispro.
Despite the good news, Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) is worried that the side effects of the drug might stand in the way of its approval. Patients who were on the BIL trial program registered escalating levels of the liver enzyme ALT. The drug also raised the level of blood fat as well as the liver fat though there were no liver injuries reported. However, the side effects could be a reason for concern because they might result into complications.
The firm has thus delayed any applications for the drug to be authorized until they study the effects. The drug trials involved more than 2800 test subjects, and the company was able to compare the performance between BIL and Lantus. The trials were carried out on three levels; with patients who had not previously used insulin, patients who had previously been treated with insulin and patients who used mealtime insulin with basal insulin.
According to a report by Dr. Melanie Davies, BIL is the first basal insulin drug that has reflected steady glycemic benefits combined with a decline in nocturnal hypoglycemia. He also added that the patients exhibited a weight advantage over Lantus during the phase III trials.
Dr. Melanie Davies was the lead scientist who oversaw the drug trials. In the first trials, patients experienced a .6 decline in the level of blood sugars compared to 1.3% for Lantus after 12 months. The second study lasted six weeks, and BIL patients exhibited a 1.7% drop in the blood sugar levels while Lantus registered a 1.5% drop. Third trials lasted 26 weeks, and they registered a 0.82% drop or BIL and a 0.29% for Lantus.