Amylin's New Diabetes Drug Well Tolerated By Sufferers

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, whose stock rose 20 percent over the last month, is encouraged by a recent study that its experimental drug Bydureonis well tolerated by patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

The drug is under review by the FDA.

“We have been able to demonstrate better efficacy [using Bydureon] than with commonly used oral-branded diabetes medicines and reinforce the safety of this product as well,” Amylin CEO Daniel Bradbury told CNBC Monday. He was speaking from the American Diabetes Association Conference in Orlando.

Bradbury said Bydureon is taken by injection only once a week, which makes managing the disease easier for patients and physicians. He said the company hadn't decided on the drug's pricing.

Sales of another diabetes drug, Byetta, hit $800 million in 2009. The drug has been jointly produced by Amylin and Eli Lilly .

In the US, nearly 24 million adults and children, or about 8 percent, of the population suffer from diabetes. About 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed each year for Americans 20 years and older.

The total cost of diabetes in the US in 2007 was $218 billion. Those with this chronic disease pay 2.3 percent more on average for medical expenses than do those without it. And diabetics are prone to other diseases, such as pancreatitis.

According to the study of Bydureon, those who take the drug aren’t at additional risk for an inflamed pancreas; patients also have lost weight when taking the drug.