The Expanding World of Type 2 Medications
As Diabetic Investor covered in our year end issue, the type 2 and pre-diabetes markets, are gaining the attention of pharmaceutical companies across the globe. Further evidence of this appeared yesterday when OSI Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:OSIP) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) announced an agreement where OSI granted BMY a worldwide non-exclusive license under its DPP-4 patent portfolio for the development of DPP-4 inhibitors to treat type 2 diabetes. BMY already has saxagliptin, a DPP-4, in phase three trials.
Also announced yesterday was news from Apollo Life Sciences that they had completed data collection in independent Phase 1 toxicology trials for oral insulin and their oral delivery device Oradel™. The company plans conducting Phase 1 human trials of this drug early next year. It has long been a dream to have insulin available in a pill form as insulin is an effective treatment option. Many consider the major barrier to insulin therapy is the fact that until Exubera came along the only way to administer insulin was by injections. Now with Exubera on the scene many are blaming its cumbersome delivery device for its poor performance out in the field. Obviously with physicians and patients love affair for pills, insulin in a pill form would be the ultimate option.
As Diabetic Investor pointed out yesterday no matter how insulin is delivered, it’s still insulin and there a host of additional factors that prevent physicians from prescribing insulin for their type 2 patient population.
Investors should proceed cautiously before jumping on any of these new therapy options. The landscaping is changing in the type 2 treatment world as physicians have a host of options available. It is also becoming clear that combination therapy is taking hold for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. To be commercially successful any new drug will have to do more than match the performance of what’s already available.