Monday, 6 August 2007

Takeda has two DPP4 candidates in trials

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Like clockwork, plugged in consumers have to upgrade computer hardware and software fairly regularly to survive in the Digital Age. Microsoft is ever-marketing the bigger, better offerings. Big Pharma's drug churn is starting to remind me of Microsoft marketing genius, especially when it comes to type 2 diabetes. More and more experimental drugs slide into the clinical trial pipeline to ideally fuel future revenue and market share and, one would hope, the health of type 2s.

Takeda's Actos, a thiazolidinedione, has benefited from Avandia's pains. Takeda jumped 5.1 percent in first-quarter profit, aided by higher Actos sales, while Avandia sales fell due to the heart risk fiasco. Interestingly, drug analyst Kenji Masuzoe from Deutsche Securities in Tokyo explained that Takeda's share price is at risk the more they lean on Actos for revenue growth. That didn't make much sense to me until Masuzoe stated the risk is based on the fact Takeda has not yet developed a DPP4 inhibitor successor before the Actos patent expires -- sparking generics to steal market share, along with new therapies.

Takeda is working hard on the task with two DPP4 inhibitors in clinical trials. SYR-322 is in the final stage, while a new one, SYR-472 is in the second of three stages required for regulatory review. Kiyoshi Kitazawa, head of Takeda's product-planning unit, stated yesterday that basic scientific data indicate SYR-472 may be superior to SYR-322. That's all he shared, gotta keep the analysts and shareholders salivating. A Yahoo! news story stated SYR-472 is a back-up and possibly a next generation drug to SYR-322, which will compete with Merck's Januvia -- a DPP4 inhibitor with rockin' sales of $144 million in first quarter of 2007 alone. DPP4 inhibitors boost the production of insulin, while Actos and Avandia make diabetics more sensitive to insulin. Another DPP4 inhibitor, Novartis' Galvus, just landed in the European marketplace, but it has been delayed twice by the FDA. Let's see if Takeda can wrestle its way into a DPP4 starting position. Makes me wonder what new offerings Microsoft has in the wings.

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