The new injectable diabetes drug taspoglutide, which is being developed by pharmaceutical giant Roche and the French company Ipse, has had its late stage clinical trials discontinued because of concerns over side effects, it has emerged.
Shares of both companies fell as it was revealed that the experimental treatment was presenting a high rate of adverse gastrointestinal reactions, in addition to problems that had already been reported, that some patients had experienced hypersensitivity reactions to the drug.
With issues surrounding two separate side effects coming to light, it now seems that the drug will take a lot longer to reach the market than expected, if at all, which will come as a blow to the developers, especially as it was forecast that taspoglutide would bring in sales of nearly USD300 million within four years.
The market for taspoglutide, a GLP-1 class medicine, is a competitive one and the news will be good news for Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, who are awaiting approval in the US for their similar injectable diabetes drug, Bydureon.
Roche and Ipsen had hoped to seek approval for taspoglutide next year, with a market launch in 2012. Roche had admitted that it is now looking at a reformulation of the medicine, which will delay things further.

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