J&J's Invokana shines in PhII Type 1 diabetes study--but raises the risk of serious side effects, too


NEW ORLEANS--Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana is already coming up big for the company as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. And the pharma giant recently got some encouraging signs that it may one day do the same in Type 1 diabetes, too.

In a Phase II study of Type 1 patients, Invokana--delivered alongside insulin--beat out a placebo-insulin combo at lowering both mean glucose levels and glycemic variability--and increased the amount of time patients spent within their target glucose ranges, J&J’s Janssen unit announced at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting.

“Less swings, less variability, more time in target range--these are all very good things,” Jim List, Janssen’s global head of cardiovascular and metabolism, told FiercePharma.


The 13th Annual Digital Pharma East

Digital Pharma East returns to the Pennsylvania Convention Center September 17–20, bringing together over 1000 attendees from biotech and pharma, to better understand how to present business plans, justify budget and innovation, and de-risk proposals getting shut down — essentially, understand how they can return to the office and become champions for their internal digital needs. Join us and save 15% on standard rates when you register with Discount Code DPE19Fierce.

But the data wasn’t all quite as sunny. Invokana also upped the rate of serious adverse events related to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can lead to coma or death.

Still, the results are encouraging for Janssen. Type 1 diabetes has been a thorn in the side of drugmakers, in part because “there have not been a great number of targets for intervening in the disease,” according to List.

“Clearly, there’s an effect going on and we’re very actively exploring all the possibilities of what we could do from here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Invokana has been helping fuel Street-beating sales for J&J. In Q1, it posted $325 million in worldwide sales--a 17% increase over the year-ago period--and that performance helped make up for floundering hep C med Olysio.

It does have a pair of serious SGLT2 rivals in Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance, and AstraZeneca’s Farxiga, though; Jardiance, in particular, has been gathering momentum since last year becoming the first diabetes treatment to show it could cut down the combined risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death. And both of the New Jersey pharma giant’s competitors are hard at work, testing their contenders in Type 1 diabetes, too.

- read the release

Special Report: The top 15 pharma companies by 2014 revenue - Johnson & Johnson 

Related Articles:
J&J's Imbruvica, Invokana fuel Street-beating Q1 sales
You say you want a revolution? Lilly, BI and Jardiance may trigger one in diabetes
Lilly, BI's Jardiance posts 'amazing' 14% reduction in major CV events
J&J faces big spending, big rivals for new diabetes drug Invokana

Suggested Articles

For just the second time, the DOJ indicted an opioid distributor for its role in illegally pushing pills at the height of the addiction epidemic.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is out to expand the pool of colorectal cancer patients it can treat with Opdivo—and it’s bringing in Bayer to help.

When AstraZeneca sold its Avlon, England plant in 2016, it thought its liabilities were over. Former employees said the drugmaker broke its promises.