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Sanofi-aventis launches in-depth studies

Sanofi-aventis has announced details of its planned research into possible links between insulin use and cancer

Sanofi-aventis (S-A) has announced details of its planned research into possible links between insulin use and cancer.

The in-depth research was promised following the worry over a possible link between the company's diabetes drug, Lantus, and cancer, based on a small number of studies, which were reported in June by Diabetologia.

The programme will also assess whether there is any difference in risk between insulin glargine, including Lantus, and other insulins. Pre-clinical studies will assess the differential effects of insulin glargine, its metabolites and other insulins in various models.

The clinical studies will encompass: a large, retrospective cohort study from prescription databases and cancer registries in northern Europe; an epidemiological study using administrative and electronic medical record databases in the US, and a case-control study of recent breast cancer, comparing glargine to other insulins in their breast cancer risk, to be conducted in Europe and North America.

Jean-Pierre Lehner, S-A chief medical officer, said: "We know that patients, physicians and the medical community at large are looking forward to getting increased scientific knowledge on the matter. We believe that the plan we are currently implementing will generate robust data that will help add to the assessment of any insulin's, and Lantus', safety." 

The studies will start in the coming weeks.

30th September 2009

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