Eli Lilly and Company ( LLY ) and Boehringer
Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that they have
commenced a phase IIIb study with Tradjenta (linagliptin) in type
II diabetes patients with prevalent albuminuria who are currently
receiving standard treatment for diabetic nephropathy.
The 24-week, multicenter, multinational, randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, MARINA
(efficacy, safety & Modification of Albuminuria in type 2
diabetes subjects with Renal disease with LINAgliptin), will
evaluate the glycemic efficacy and safety of once-daily Tradjenta
(5 mg). The study is slated to complete in 2014.
Tradjenta is currently approved for use in type II diabetes
patients along with diet and exercise.
We are pleased with Eli Lilly's efforts to strengthen its
diabetes franchise. Earlier this year, Eli Lilly and Boehringer
Ingelheim had announced positive top-line results on empagliflozin
from four phase III trials. Empagliflozin (10 and 25 mg taken once
daily), a sodium glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor, was
found to be more effective in lowering blood sugar levels compared
to placebo. Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim recently submitted a
new drug application for empagliflozin in the US.
Eli Lilly currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The biggest
near-term challenge for Eli Lilly will be to replace the revenues
that will be lost to generic competition now that Zyprexa has lost
US and EU exclusivity. The generic threat will continue to pose
challenges for Eli Lilly with Cymbalta slated to lose patent
protection in late 2013 and Evista in 2014.
On the flip side, the Animal Health business and the diabetes
franchise should provide some downside support. We are also pleased
to see Eli Lilly pursuing small acquisitions and in-licensing deals
to boost its pipeline.
Currently, large-cap companies like Novo
Nordisk ( NVO ) and
AbbVie ( ABBV ) carry a Zacks
Rank #2 (Buy). Meanwhile, UCB ( UCBJF ) carries a
Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis ReportLILLY ELI & CO (LLY): Free Stock Analysis
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