Lilly's next-gen insulin hopes hit a buzzsaw as firm ditches late-stage diabetes candidate
- Eli Lilly is completely scrapping its development program for peglispro, which is a long-acting insulin. The decision was based on safety concerns, which were confirmed in a 6,000-patient clinical trial.
- Originally the plan was to submit in the first half of this year, but as evidence of liver toxicities emerged the submission date was pushed back.
- Although peglispro had promising efficacy data, Lilly decided to scrap the program after determining that further development would be costly and time consuming---and could still possibly fail.
Lilly has had a good run with diabetes approvals lately, garnering six new diabetes-related approvals since the middle of 2014. Add to that the astonishing data on the effect of Jardiance (empagliflozin) on decreasing the risk of cardiovascular-related death, and it's clear that Lilly made a decision in the context of its larger portfolio.
There's also the larger marketplace to consider. Right now, there's a lot of competition in the long-acting insulin market, especially with the recent approvals of Sanofi's Toujeo and Novo's Tresiba. Lilly would be coming to market with yet another long-acting insulin.
The major downside, however, is that the company will not be able to use peglispro as part of a combo package---something the other companies are working to accomplish.
Regardless, sometimes a company has to cuts its losses and move on, and Lilly is choosing to make the tough decision here.