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article imageTwo new diabetes drugs approved for U.S. and Japan

By Tim Sandle     May 28, 2015 in Health
Big pharma companies Lilly and Takeda have announced that two new types of diabetes drugs are now available for patients, after being approved by regulatory authorities.
In the U.S., the offering from Lilly is called Humalog U-200 KwikPen. This medication, Pharmfile reports, is presented in injectable form as a pre-filled pen. The device holds a concentrated formulation of fast-acting insulin. This is an established Lilly product — Humalog. The drug is suitable for use to counteract the effects of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The insulin controls the blood sugar levels in the body.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. Insulin enables the body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin stops the blood sugar level from becoming too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).
People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin. This is because the necessary beta cells in their pancreas are damaged. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond well to insulin, and need regular shots of the hormone.
What is innovative about the new Lilly product is that the device holds double the amount of insulin as current technologies, and is delivered from a container of the same size. The advantage to patients is not needing to obtain the same level of supplies. The Humalog U-200 KwikPen has already been approved in Europe.
Meanwhile, in Japan, Takeda has launched a dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-4) inhibitor marketed as Zafatek (chemical name: trelagliptin succinate). This drug, The Financial notes, only needs to be taken once per week.
According to the company the medication “controls blood glucose levels by selectively and continually inhibiting DPP-4, an enzyme that causes the inactivation of…incretin hormones that play an important role in blood glucose regulation.”
In associated news, Takeda will pay-out $2.7 billion to settle a number of U.S. lawsuits which infer another diabetes drug the company produces, called Actos, can increase the risk of patients developing cancer.
More about diabtes, Drugs, Insulin, Medication
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