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Amylin Tries to Save Byetta | cialis online

Amylin Tries to Save Byetta

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A study released by Amylin Pharmaceuticals that shows Byetta works better than Januvia has serious flaws, and may only be an attempt to take focus away from Byetta’s association with pancreatitis.  According to, the new Byetta study was released Tuesday at the  European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Rome.

“This is clearly a marketing study to give their reps more stuff to talk about,”  Natixis Bleichroeder analyst Jon LeCroy told Forbes. “You wouldn’t do this study unless you knew your drug was better.”

One big problem with the study is that Byetta and Januvia are very different drugs.  According to, Januvia is a once-daily pill in the DPP-IV inhibitor class of drugs that is normally prescribed by primary care physicians to patients experiencing the earlier signs of type 2 diabetes. Byetta, a twice daily injectable of the GLP-1 class of drugs, is usually prescribed by a specialist for people with advanced cases of type 2 diabetes that need the added effects of weight loss and appetite suppression.

The study does not compare the side effects of the drugs.  That’s important, because according to Forbes, Januvia does not appear to carry the same risk of pancreatitis found with Byetta.  According to the report, in a client note published late last week, Yaron Werber of Citi Investment Research said that of every 100,000 patients who took Byetta, about 6.49 developed acute pancreatitis.  The rate of pancreatitis in Januvia patients was only 1.61 out of 100,000, he said.

Byetta was approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005 to help type 2 diabetics better control blood sugar when other drugs were not adequate. The twice-daily injection is a synthetic form of a lizard hormone that boosts the production of insulin. Insulin is vital to controlling blood sugar levels.

On August 18, the FDA said that Byetta had been linked to 6 cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis in patients taking Byetta since its October alert. All patients required hospitalization, two patients died and four patients were recovering at time of reporting. Byetta was discontinued in all 6 cases.  Then, on August 26, Amylin announced that four additional fatalities had been confirmed in Byetta patients suffering from milder forms of pancreatitis.

According to, the Amylin’s shares have fallen 44.2% since the pancreatitis news broke in mid-August.

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