Saturday, August 2, 2014

Beginning Monday, Merck's Januvia® Faces A[nother] New Competitor In The US

While the drug branded as Jardiance® (empagliflozin) in the US has already been on market in the EU for a bit, this is new -- and the US market for diabetes treatments, and thus, for Januvia® (sitagliptin) is probably Merck's most important franchise -- at the moment. Significantly, Merck has a couple year's head start, here.

Even so, it will be interesting to see if Indianapolis-based Lilly will be able to snag some of Merck's share, here -- as Jardiance is cut from "just about the same cloth" as sitagliptin. Will price competition in the US become a dominant form of garnering share? Who knows. Here is a bit -- from yesterday's Indy Star:

. . . .The drug is designed to be taken once a day to reduce a patient’s blood sugar levels by blocking glucose reabsorption in the kidneys and removing excess glucose through urine. Unlike other diabetes treatments, it does not depend on a patient’s insulin levels to be effective.

European Union regulators had already approved the drug, also labeled empagliflozin, in May.

Earlier this year, Lilly and Boehringer said the FDA didn’t approve the drug because of concerns about the Boehringer factory in Germany where it will be made. But a Lilly spokeswoman said Friday those concerns have been resolved.

Boehringer developed the drug, and Lilly will help co-promote it. . . .

We will keep a weather eye on the horizon -- for this emerging battle. Off to see "Guardians of the Galaxy", now (middle son's call). Fingers crossed. Literally -- heh!


Anonymous said...

The "cut from the same cloth" verbiage proves that the person responsible for that quote has no idea how these therapies work. This product has a completely different MOA (mechanism of action) than Januvia. It will however compete directly with Invokana and Farxiga.

Condor said...

Thanks Anon. -- you are quite right that a SGLT2 inhibitor (like the new Lilly drug) works differently than a DPP-4 inhibitor (like Januvia).

True enough.

But (in my opinion) to think that the former will not compete for the same Type 2 patients as the latter -- seems slightly naive.

But I agree -- the method of action differs.

Do stop back -- Namaste

Condor said...

Just as a follow up -- not to rub salt on it, here -- I forgot to note that the SGLT2 inhibitor seems to coincide with weight loss -- addressing a major obstacle for many type 2 diabetics: weight gain.

Here's the bit -- in which M M&M selects Januvia. . . as an ultimate "also ran" -- to the Lilly SGLT2 inhibitor:

". . .[I]n a crowded category, even a minor hiccup could cost both drugmakers significant market share. Outside of safety concerns, Jardiance has also lowered the weight and blood pressure of patients in trials—although the drug is not approved for either benefit. . . ."