Rubbing salt in the wound

Rubbing salt in the wound

Later this week the diabetes world will descend upon the beautiful city of San Diego for the American Diabetes Association Annual Scientific Sessions. Besides being the home of this year’s conference, San Diego also happens to be home to Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) who as everyone knows is involved in a nasty legal battle with their “partner” Lilly (NYSE:LLY). This legal dispute centers around Lilly’s other partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim and their DDP-4 Tradjenta™.

As Diabetic Investor noted Lilly recently won the latest round in court and is wasting no time trying to get Tradjenta off the ground. Although Lilly claims their partnership with BI will not adversely impact their relationship with Amylin, their actions certainly seem to indicate otherwise. Just this morning Lilly issued a press release which stated the following:

“Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will present the latest data from their diabetes portfolio at the 71st American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions in San Diego on June 24-28. Study results evaluating the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor linagliptin, as well as the investigational sodium glucose cotransporter−2 (SGLT−2) inhibitor BI-10773, will be featured among the 27 presentations. Linagliptin, 5 mg, is marketed under the trade name Tradjenta™ (linagliptin) tablets in the U.S. and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2011 to be used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.”

According to the release of the 27 presentations 12, nearly half, will be on Tradjenta. While there is nothing at all unusual with companies presenting data at the conference, this is after all the purpose of the conference; it is somewhat ironic that Lilly is being so blatant promoting a drug that clearly competes for the same patient as Byetta, Amylin’s twice daily GLP-1.

Now Diabetic Investor does not wish to cast dispersions on Lilly, nor do we wish to tell Lilly what it means to be a good partner. However, we don’t exactly think anyone would characterize the Lilly/Amylin relationship as a healthy partnership. The Lilly/Amylin relationship reminds Diabetic Investor of the women who states that she and her husband have always had an open marriage but he was the only partner who knew this. Lilly is adding insult to injury, not just by their actions but doing so in Amylin’s home city, talk about being cold. This is like the women who comes home to find her husband in bed with her best friend and the husband states; “Don’t worry about it honey we’ll be sure to change the sheets when we’re done.”

Diabetic Investor has no idea how the legal battle between Lilly and Amylin will turn out, yet with each passing day it’s becoming clear that this relationship is reaching a point were reconciliation is becoming less and less likely. Even if by some miracle, and that’s what it would take, Lilly admitted they made a mistake how could Amylin ever trust the company won’t do exactly the same thing at some point in the future. As the old saying goes fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.