Lilly says peglispro is superior to Sanofi's Lantus

Eli Lilly's experimental basal insulin peglispro is better at reducing A1c levels among both type-1 and type-2 diabetes patients than Sanofi's Lantus, according to Phase-III clinical trial results shared by Lilly at last weekend's American Diabetes Association's annual meeting.

A1c tests are used to assess blood-sugar levels. The A1c test goes by several names including hemoglobin A1c and HbA1c. It is an important metric because sugar levels that are too high indicate that a patient's diabetes is not well controlled.

The results came from the Imagine clinical trial series and the lower A1c levels associated with peglispro were in line with information Lilly shared earlier this year. The studies also showed that peglispro is associated with an increase in liver enzymes and liver fat, which may indicate injured liver cells or inflammation and damage. Evercore ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum said Lilly is looking into the liver fat issue but current results for peglispro do not indicate liver damage.

Leerink Partners analyst Seamus Fernandez said in a research note that the enzyme and fat levels and reports of injection-site reactions pose a competitive challenge for the drug. He said in March that the liver results did not bode well for the drug's viability.

Sanford Bernstein analyst Dr. Tim Anderson welcomed peglispro's shortcomings in a research note released in February, saying that Lilly could focus more on its experimental Lantus biosimilar.

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