Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) announced that it has updated its diabetes drug Trulicity’s label to include data from a new study, which showed that the GLP-1 receptor agonist was effective in type II diabetes patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Data from AWARD-7 study showed that type II diabetes patients, treated once-weekly with Trulicity in combination with mealtime insulin lispro, experienced improved blood glucose levels, effective for those under the impact of the traditional basal-bolus insulin. In addition, patients treated with Trulicity reported an added benefit of weight loss.
It is estimated by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that about a third of population affected with diabetes is at risk of developing a moderate to severe kidney disease. People who suffer type II diabetes along with moderate to severe CKD, experience high blood glucose levels, difficult to be cured of with the present diabetes medicines. Given the label updates to include data from the AWARD-7 study, Trulicity can now be prescribed for an expanded patient population, which in turn, might drive the drug’s sales to a sharp rise.
Notably, Lilly’s Trulicity is facing stiff competition from Novo Nordisk’s (NVO - Free Report) Ozempic/semaglutide, launched in 2018.
In the first quarter of 2018, Trulicity generated revenues of $678.3 million, up 82% year over year with revenues from the United States benefiting from growth in the GLP-1 market and market share gains.
In a separate press release, Lilly announced positive top-line results from the CARMELINA study, which evaluated Tradjenta on patients with type II diabetes, who are at an increased risk of both cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. The study met its primary endpoint. Findings from the trial showed that treatment with Tradjenta led to similar cardiovascular safety compared with placebo in such patients.
An estimated half of the subjects with type II diabetes worldwide has CKD and the majority of deaths among people with kidney disease occur due to cardiovascular complications. Tradjenta demonstrated cardiovascular safety in patients without any dose adjustments irrespective of the kidney functions.
Shares of Lilly have increased 5.9% year to date versus the industry’s decrease of 0.5%.
Lilly currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the pharma sector include Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VNDA - Free Report) and Genomic Health Inc (GHDX - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Vanda Pharmaceuticals’ earnings estimates have been revised 11.1% upward for 2018 and 3.9% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 37.8% so far this year.
Genomic Health’s current-year earnings estimates have been moved 4.4% north for 2018 over the past 60 days. The stock has soared 70.5% so far this year.
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