Diabetes: Major Developments In Treatment

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For people struggling with diabetes, the bathroom scale can be the enemy. But a new drug may change all that.

Late results show an experimental Type 2 diabetes drug from Novo Nordisk called liraglutide
led to greater reduction in blood sugar than Byetta, a rival medication sold by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly.

And equally important -- among patients who completed the two-year trial, 58 percent of them lost an average of 6 pounds.

That's significant because some older diabetes medicines cause weight gain and many patients struggling with diabetes also tend to struggle with their weight.

Sounds like a winner but there are some health concerns. A recent advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was split on whether to recommend liraglutide approval over concern about thyroid tumors found in mice and rats tested with the medicine.

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And, as if Byetta needed any more headwinds – the venerable drug may have even more competition on the horizon.

New results show an experimental diabetes drug from GlaxoSmithKline was also more effective than Byetta in controlling blood sugar.

The Glaxo drug, called Syncria, is entering Phase III testing; and it’s expected to take two to three years to complete.

We'll be watching.


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