Sanofi-Aventis reports PhIII success for diabetes drug

Sanofi-Aventis has gained some fresh evidence to back lixisenatide, its late-stage GLP-1 therapy for Type 2 diabetes. Researchers say that the drug improved glycemic control in patients and reduced glucose in blood cells, making its Phase III study a success. The therapy was licensed from Zealand Pharma.

"We are pleased with the top-line results from our first Phase III study of this novel, once-daily GLP-1 agonist and are looking forward to sharing the full results later in the year," said Marc Cluzel, Sanofi's executive vice-president for research and development. The 12-week study enrolled 361 volunteers.

The good news was tempered by some considerable caution among analysts who have begun to fret over the number of GLP-1 drugs being advanced by competitors like Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.

"We currently assume peak sales of $500 million (for lixisenatide) with a 2012 launch but see the drug as being a late-comer in what is looking to be a crowded GLP-1 market," noted Jefferies International.

- see the release on lixisenatide
- here's the story from Reuters