Experimental diabetes drug halted

Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Speedel, a Swiss drugmaker who have been testing a type of experimental diabetes drug, have had to halt their trial following alarmingly high levels of dangerous side effects that threatened the health of patients.

An independent panel of experts advised Speedel to halt their trial of Avosentan, following overwhelming fluid retention amongst patients. The treatment, which held great potential for diabetes sufferers, may still have a role to play in the prevention of other illnesses.

In response to the news, the Swiss drugmaker lost a quarter of their value as shares slumped. Alice Huxley, the Chief Executive Officer, said: "We're confident the drug still has potential." The news is typical of drugmaker efforts to advance new drugs. Huxley concluded: "We're pushing the boundaries of medicine further and further. If you're at the forefront of innovation then you're the first to take the risk and learn the lesson. But you can turn a bitter pill into an advantage."
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