New drug class takes center stage at ADA conference

With standard diabetes drugs like Avandia and Actos drawing increasing scrutiny about safety concerns, a new class of diabetes therapy--dubbed GLiPs--is moving much closer toward regulatory approval.

The GLP-1s attracted some of the greatest attention over last weekend's scientific meeting of the American Diabetes Association, with Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Amylin, Alkermes and GlaxoSmithKline all rolling out new data demonstrating a better ability to burn pounds and control blood sugar. Dow Jones notes in their wrap-up article that these drugs offer better therapy with fewer doses, a combination that will likely set a new standard for treating an epidemic of cases.

"This is an exciting class of drugs that has great potential," said Dr. Richard Kahn, chief scientific and medical officer of ADA.

It's not a slam dunk, though. Novo's liraglutide has been the subject of immense speculation, with analysts worried that evidence of thyroid cancer in animal models could slow or prevent an approval. And old therapies won't relinquish market share without a fight. Byetta, which is injected twice a day, may soon be replaced by the once-a-week version named exenatide.

- read the report from Dow Jones

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