June 1, 2007 / 8:01 AM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 1-Takeda drops development of Actos/TAK-536 combo drug

TOKYO, June 1 (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (4502.T), Japan’s biggest drug maker, said on Friday it would drop development of a medicine that combined its diabetes drug Actos with investigational drug TAK-536.

The combination product was in phase III studies in the United States.

Takeda said it had dropped the project after finding it needed to improve the combination drug’s formulation before submitting a new drug application. It decided that the company’s money and time was better spent on other projects.

Spokesman Seizo Masuda said that termination of the product was not linked to the development of SYR-322, which belongs to a new type of diabetes drugs.

“The termination of this combo product has nothing to do with the current development situation of SYR-322,” he said.

SYR-322 belongs to a class of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors that work to enhance the body’s own ability to lower elevated blood sugar without the weight gain seen with some other drugs.

Merck & Co. Inc.’s (MRK.N) Januvia is the first among DPP-4 inhibitors to have been approved in the U.S. and Europe.

((Reporting by Edwina Gibbs, editing by Malcolm Whittaker;

Reuters messaging: edwina.gibbs.reuters.com@reuters.net;

Email: edwina.gibbs.@reuters.com; +81 3 3432-8720)) Keywords: TAKEDA DIABETES/

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