Janssen Research & Development, LLC, a part of the
Johnson & Johnson
) family of companies, recently presented encouraging phase III
data on type II diabetes candidate, canagliflozin, at the annual
meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes
Janssen presented results from CANVAS (CANagliflozin
cardioVascular Assessment Study) - a prospective, double blind,
placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy, tolerability and
cardiovascular safety of canagliflozin. The study involves 4,330
type II diabetes patients (adults) who are at higher risk for
The data was presented from an 18-week sub-study involving 1,718
patients who had been under insulin therapy for an average of 7.1
years. Janssen said that two doses of canagliflozin were evaluated
in the study - 100 mg and 300 mg. Patients were randomized to
receive either canagliflozin dosage or placebo.
Janssen reported a significant decline in blood glucose levels
when canagliflozin was used in addition to insulin therapy compared
to placebo. Moreover, patients in the canagliflozin arms
experienced a reduction in body weight compared to placebo.
While the occurrence of treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs)
was similar across all treatment arms, discontinuations due to
adverse events were higher in the 300 mg canagliflozin arm (5.3%)
compared to the canagliflozin 100 mg and placebo arms (1.9%
Janssen also presented results from another phase III study
which showed that canagliflozin significantly reduced A1C levels
compared to placebo, when used in addition to antihyperglycemic
therapy in older type II diabetes patients with inadequate glycemic
Janssen has submitted marketing applications in the US and the
EU for canagliflozin. The diabetes market, while crowded,
represents significant commercial potential. Players in the
diabetes market include
) among others.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Johnson &
Johnson, which carries a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term 'Buy' rating).
While we expect the company to continue facing headwinds in the
form of pricing pressure, currency fluctuation, manufacturing
issues and healthcare reform, we believe the company's diversified
business model, lack of cyclicality, and strong financial position
will continue helping it pave its way through tough situations.
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