ADA highlights: Novo, Lilly meds top Lantus; Sanofi, AZ tout new combo regimens

The data pump is going full tilt at the American Diabetes Association meeting, with top drugmakers rolling out studies on their top drugs, new and old. From new safety analyses to head-to-head match-ups, here's a roundup of the need-to-know.

  • Novo Nordisk's ($NVO) combo drug Xultophy--a.k.a. IDegLira--beat Sanofi's Lantus at controlling blood sugar and triggering weight loss, with a lower rate of hypoglycemia, the Danish drugmaker said. The DUAL trial pitted Xultophy--which combines Novo's new long-acting basal insulin Tresiba with its blockbuster GLP-1 med Victoza--against Sanofi's basal insulin, both combined with metformin. Novo resubmitted Tresiba for FDA approval in March, planning a Xultophy app after that approval; it recently launched the latter in the U.K., its third European market after Germany and Switzerland. Release (PDF) | Report
  • Eli Lilly's ($LLY) long-acting basal insulin peglispro beat Sanofi's Lantus at reducing blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes patients, with more patients on the Lilly drug hitting their ADA-recommended A1c targets, according to data from three Phase III trials presented Saturday. But patients on the Lilly drug had a significant increase in a particular liver enzyme, and liver fat content was higher after treatment in some patients, Reuters reports. Lilly has delayed applying for FDA approval to study the liver issues. Report
  • Sanofi ($SNY) trumpeted new data on its GLP-1 drug Lyxumia (lixisenatide) showing that the new med matched fast-acting insulin regimens at reducing HbA1c levels in patients with poor blood sugar control on its basal insulin, Lantus. Add-on Lyxumia beat mealtime therapy at helping patients lose weight as well. Sanofi plans to submit Lyxumia for FDA approval in the third quarter after withdrawing an earlier application in 2013. Release
  • Adding AstraZeneca's ($AZN) SGLT2 med Farxiga (dapagliflozin) to its DPP-4 drug Onglyza (saxagliptin) and the standard therapy metformin significantly decreased HbA1c levels for patients with blood sugar uncontrolled by the two-drug cocktail, a Phase III study found. "With nearly 50% of type 2 diabetes patients estimated to be uncontrolled on metformin, new treatment approaches are needed, and these data add to the growing body of knowledge for combination therapies," lead author Dr. Chantal Mathieu said in a statement. Release
  • AstraZeneca's Onglyza (saxagliptin) showed no evidence of increased hospitalization for heart failure compared with fellow DPP-4 inhibitor Januvia (sitagliptin) in an observational, retrospective study, the U.K. drugmaker said Monday. The late-breaking poster session follows a recent FDA panel vote for new labeling on the AZ med, flagging a potential risk of heart failure, based on data from a 16,000-patient outcomes study known as SAVOR. Release | Report
  • Sanofi's Toujeo worked as well as its older basal insulin, Lantus, in Japanese patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with fewer episodes of overnight hypoglycemia, according to the EDITION study duo in both types of the disease. The French drugmaker sees Toujeo's lower risk of low blood sugar events as an advantage for Toujeo over its predecessor. Release

Special Reports: Top 10 best-selling diabetes drugs of 2013 | Top 15 pharma companies by 2014 revenue - Sanofi - Lilly - AstraZeneca

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