UPDATE 1-Lilly diabetes drug as good as insulin in study

Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:40am EDT

* Drug proved as effective as long-acting insulin

* Drug also showed benefits when used with other treatments

April 16 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly & Co's experimental once-weekly diabetes drug dulaglutide proved as good as insulin in controlling blood sugar in type 2 diabetics in two late-stage studies, the company said on Tuesday.

The medicine met the studies' key goal of demonstrating non-inferiority to insulin glargine, a longer-acting form of insulin, in lowering hemoglobin A1c, a measure of controlling diabetes.

Further research showed dulaglutide demonstrated statistical superiority in lowering hemoglobin A1c compared to insulin glargine at one year in patients with type 2 diabetes who were already taking the diabetes drugs metformin and glimeperide, the company said.

Dulaglutide combined with insulin lispro, a fast-acting form of insulin, also was statistically superior in reducing hemoglobin A1c compared to insulin glargine in combination with insulin lispro at 26 weeks.

The company said it expects to submit data from the studies to U.S. regulatory authorities this year as it seeks marketing approval for the injectable medicine.

Last October, Eli Lilly released data showing dulaglutide lowered hemoglobin A1c levels more than twice-daily injections of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's Byetta given for six months, oral metformin taken for 26 weeks, and Merck & Co's once-daily oral Januvia taken for one year.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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