Sunday, October 17, 2010

Diabetes Drug's Approval Expected, But Impact Still Uncertain

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- The likely approval of a long-acting Type 2 diabetes treatment next week will affect three companies--Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( AMLN), Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) and Alkermes Inc. (ALKS)--but the decision's significance to investors will take some time to determine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is widely expected to approve Bydureon, a once-weekly version of twice-daily Byetta--already sold by Amylin and Lilly-- that uses Alkermes' drug-delivery technology. While most estimates of the drug's eventual annual sales exceed $1 billion, there is broad uncertainty as to how fast it can get there in the competitive diabetes-treatment market.

"We expect it to cannibalize an existing franchise, so it is not all pure gain," said BMO Capital Markets analyst Robert Hazlett, who projects $275 million in 2011 sales, rising to $430 million in 2012 and eventually peaking at around $1 billion.

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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