Regulators to review Merck drug

Fri, 16 Feb 2007
The new diabetes drug from Merck and Co, Januvia, is to be reviewed by the US regulatory board, the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA will make a decision on the drug used in conjunction with another medication to better manage blood sugar levels amongst diabetic patients.

The FDA is expected to make a decision on the matter by October this year, a month that will mark the anniversary of the approval of Januvia as a stand-alone treatment. The appeal is to use Januvia together with another drug called sulfonylurea.

Januvia is the first in a major class of new diabetes drugs known as DPP-4 inhibitors. These drugs effectively enhance the body’s own ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Merck intends to market metformin and januvia in a single pill to be called Janumet.

Merck shares have risen 27 per cent in the last 12 months, with Januvia a major earner for the company .
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