ThirdAge.com reports that a diabetes drug, with expectations of a $2-billion-a-year revenue, ended as a disappointment. After a 52-week clinical study, the response was highly unfavorable. The Epoch Times added that the drug, which was jointly developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche and French company Ispen, was just suspended during its late-stage trials.
The New York Times confirmed that Roche, the company making the drug, decided to stop the tests when scientists were disappointed with their evaluation of the year’s testing results. The drug, taspoglutide, was anticipated to be an immense breakthrough for diabetics around the world. Taspoglutide is one of several drugs that has been developed in an effort to treat diabetes without daily injections.
An unexpected amount of hypersensitivity reactions were reported in June. Side effects reported in the late-stage clinical trials showed that patients experienced gastrointestinal intolerability and serious hypersensitivity reactions. Patients being removed from the program compromised the interpretation of the long-term safety data from the studies. Continuing treatment with the current formula comprising taspoglutide was not in the best interest of the patients.
Roche hopes that taspoglutide, which was injected once a week over a 52-week period, can be reformulated. Rather than writing taspoglutide off, reformulation will give an opportunity to submit it once more for evaluation. However, Joshua Schimmer, a Leerink Swann analyst, indicated that the late-stage suspension is most likely the final blow. The compound has been in trouble since the hypersensitivity and nausea/vomiting results were presented at the American Diabetes Association this year. It appears the latest problems will make it more difficult for acceptance in the future.
News of other diabetes drugs still being prescribed after suspension advice or questions about dangers connected with the drugs are surfacing gently. BBC News Health reported September 5 that Avandia, a drug for type-two diabetes, is still being prescribed in the UK, despite being recommended for withdrawal two months ago. Avandia has been linked to a raised risk of heart attacks and heart failure and is under a Europe-wide review. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer, maintains the drug is safe if it is properly monitored.
News of taspoglutide’s suspension is an equal blow to the multitudes of type-two diabetics around the world, who anticipated a once-weekly injection to maintain their blood sugar levels, rather than the one or more daily usually needed. As with all other life-threatening diseases and conditions, let us all encourage and support the continued attempts to create a friendlier, effective means of control.
ThirdAge.com, Diabetes Drug fails in clinical trials
Jack Phillips, Diabetes Drug Tests Discontinued, Roche Says
The New York Times, After Adverse Effects, Roche Ends trials of Diabetes Drug
BBC News Health, Diabetes drug still available despite suspension advice