Study says DPP-IV benefits may go beyond diabetes

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DPP-IV diabetes medications may have benefits beyond insulin control. PharmaTimes reports that a Brigham and Women's Hospital study shows the medications may be associated with a reduced risk of autoimmune diseases among type-2 diabetics. PT says researcher Seoyoung Kim told reporters at the American College of Rheumatology conference that diabetics taking DPP-IV combination therapy were 34% less likely to develop RA and reduced their risk of other autoimmune diseases by 27%.

PT notes that the study is not definitive, but further evidence would benefit Merck's Januvia (which has seen sales slide) and the Boehringer Ingelheim/Eli Lilly drug Tradjenta. The DPP-IV class also includes the Bristol-Myers Squibb/AstraZeneca drug Onglyza.

The diabetes category as a whole is getting tighter. Merck noted in its conference call, for example, that "the DPP-IV market and branded worldwide diabetic market isn't growing." Additional pressures, such as being squeezed out of PBM formulary offerings have added to category pressures.

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