Feb 25 (Reuters) – An experimental once-weekly medicine for type 2 diabetes developed by Eli Lilly and Co proved as effective in lowering blood sugar as Victoza from Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk in an eagerly anticipated late stage study.
The Lilly drug, dulaglutide, achieved the primary goal of the 599-patient study by demonstrating so-called non-inferiority to the highest approved dose of Victoza after 26 weeks, according to initial results released by the company on Tuesday. Lilly shares rose more than 1 percent before retreating.
Dulaglutide, considered one of the more important medicines in Lilly’s pipeline of drugs in development, is awaiting U.S. and European approval decisions.
“It is our hope that we will have approval this year,” Lilly’s Senior Medical Director Sherry Martin said in a telephone interview.
Once weekly dulaglutide and Victoza, which is taken daily and known chemically as liraglutide, belong to a class of injected diabetes drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. They work by increasing the release of insulin after meals and by slowing absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract.