This morning Merck (NYSE:MRK) fourth quarter and full years results for 2006. Januvia, the company’s new treatment for type 2 diabetes achieved sales of $42 million in the fourth quarter. Everyone is watching Januvia sales and it’s potential impact on Byetta from Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) who reports their earnings today after the market closes.
After getting off to a strong start, Januvia prescriptions have slowed over the past few weeks while it appears after taking an initial hit Byetta prescriptions are reaccelerating.
Diabetic Investor does not anticipate any major surprises when Amylin reports today and maintains it is still to early in Januvia’s launch to gauge any impact on Byetta. Based on early results some trends are emerging. First it should be noted that although both drugs are targeted at the Type 2 patients Januvia is more likely to be used as frontline therapy and poses a greater threat to TZD’s such as Avandia and Actos. Byetta by contrast has established itself as the therapy of choice for patients who are failing to achieve adequate control using oral medications. It will take another quarter or so for patients and their physicians to judge whether or not Januvia is truly effective for this is when physicians will be able to run an A1c test and compare results back to when the patient was on another medication. Byetta’s effectiveness is well known and it will be interesting to see if Byetta usage increases should Januvia’s results come in below expectations. Diabetic Investor still believes shares of Amylin are a value under $40 per share.
Over the next few days Diabetic Investor will be reporting from Miami as we follow our beloved Bears to the Superbowl. The Colts will be a tough test but the Bears will prevail, Bears 31 Colts 17. Enjoy the game and GO BEARS!