FDA Approves Exenatide for Once Weekly Injection

Once-weekly injection of exenatide, sold in the U.S. as Bydureon, has been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  It’s the first-ever once-weekly drug for type 2 diabetes.  Bydureon’s main competitors are Byetta (exenatide  injected twice daily) and Victoza  (liraglutide).  Byetta and Bydureon are made by the same company, Amylin Pharmaceuticals.  Bydureon is a slow-release formulation of exenatide.

Victoza is the one that celebrity chef Paula Deen endorsed about a month ago, around the same time she revealed she’s had type 2 diabetes for three years.  Victoza’s injected once daily.

The New York Times has a January 27, 2012, article on Bydureon, focusing on business and investing.  The new drug is expected to retail for $4,200 (USD) a year.

Click for complete prescribing information.

Click for a press release approved by Amylin.

David Mendosa is excited about Bydureon.

These drugs are in a class called GLP-1 receptor agonists, which mimic the effect of glucagonlike peptide-1, a hormone that increases insulin secretion by the pancreas when blood sugar levels are high.  They are prescribed as adjuncts to diet and exercise in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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