Survey: Additional diabetes drugs, DPP-IV inhibitors needed

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A survey conducted by market research company Decision Resources found that 70 percent of physicians believe that additional diabetes drugs with novel mechanisms of action are needed, while 15 percent urged that additional DPP-IV inhibitors need to be developed.

Results were gathered from a sample of 148 U.S. physicians and 336 patients.

The patients and physicians surveyed reported that drugs with glucose lowering abilities were preferred. In addition, physicians noted that if HbAlc levels were reduced by 2 percent, it would be an advancement for type 2 diabetes patients, according to the firm.

"Physicians we surveyed also tell us that they prefer an agent with an excellent safety profile, which is not surprising given the cardiovascular safety concerns associated with GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia and the more recent pancreatitis association with both Amylin [Pharmaceuticals] and Eli Lilly's Byetta and Merck's Januvia," stated Nicole Westphal, PhD, analyst and product manager at Decision Resources.

Januvia is a DPP-IV inhibitor.

The report found when analyzing specific segments of physicians and patients—young, urban, weight-conscious specialists—prescribing Byetta was a favored treatment for type 2 diabetes. According to the company, this sector will drive the adoption of new GLP-1 analogues such as Victoza (Novo Nordisk/Sciot) and Byetta LAR (Alkermes/Amylin/Eli Lilly).

"The majority of the surveyed physicians predict that out of these two agents, Byetta LAR will have the most significant impact on type 2 diabetes treatment,” added Westphal. She attributed this to the fact that physicians are already familiar with prescribing Byetta to their patients. Byetta LAR, a weekly injection, she said offers a dosing advantage over Victoza.

According to the Waltham, Mass.-based company, because the aforementioned segments rely heavily on clinical evidence to drive decisions, these physicians are an “ideal target” for companies who are developing diabetes drug therapies.

Of the type 2 diabetes patients surveyed, most said that drug therapy equipped with disease modifying potential to help improve insulin producing cells is desired.

The survey analyzed Byetta; Actos, ACTOplus met and Duetact (Takeda Pharmaceuticals); Avandia,  Avandamet and Avandaryl (GlaxoSmithKline); Januvia and Janumet (Merck); and Onglyza (Bristol-Myers Squibb/AstraZeneca/Otsuka Pharmaceutical).