PHARMACY

BI, Lilly form strategic partnership for diabetes drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. drug maker Eli Lilly and German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim will collaborate to develop drugs for diabetes, the companies said Tuesday.

The agreement centers around investigative drugs currently in mid- to late-stage clinical development, including two oral drugs made by BI, BI10773 and linagliptin, and two basal insulin analogues made by Lilly, LY2605541 and LY2963016. The deal also includes options to develop and commercialize a Lilly monoclonal antibody.

Under the agreement, Lilly will pay BI $389.1 million, and BI will be eligible to receive up to $810.8 million in milestone payments related to linagliptin and BI10773. Lilly will be eligible to receive up to $650 million in milestone payments related to its two insulin analogues. If the two companies decide to develop the monoclonal antibody, Lilly could receive an additional $525 million in milestone payments.

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FDA accepts application for extended-release Janumet

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has accepted a regulatory approval application for a drug to treat Type 2 diabetes made by Merck, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Merck announced the acceptance of its application for extended-release Janumet, which combines in a single pill the active ingredient sitagliptin with extended-release metformin, a drug commonly prescribed for Type 2 diabetes.

Janumet belongs to the class known as DPP-4 inhibitors, which also includes Onglyza (saxagliptin), made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca. Merck also makes an immediate-release formulation of the drug.

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Bayer: Betaseron not affected by prep pads recall

BY Alaric DeArment

WAYNE, N.J. — Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals sought to reassure healthcare professionals and their patients that a recall of alcohol prep pads distributed with its multiple sclerosis drug did not affect the drug itself.

The drug maker’s MS treatment Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) is distributed with prep pads made by Triad Group, which recently staged a recall of prep products due to potential contamination with Bacillus cereus bacteria, which would lead to life-threatening infections.

Bayer said the contamination was confined to the prep pads and that the Betaseron itself was still safe to use. The company is urging patients to use alternative prep pads not subject to the recall.

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