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Sanofi launches diabetes drug Lyxumia in the UK

Says drug could make multimillion pound savings for the NHS

Sanofi's Lyxumia (lixisenatide) 

Sanofi has launched its new diabetes drug Lyxumia in the UK and says the drug could bring big cost savings for the NHS.

A GLP-1 agonist, Lyxumia (lixisenatide) won European approval in February for use as a single daily injection alongside an oral glucose-lowering medicinal products and/or basal insulin in patients with inadequate glycaemic control.

Lyxumia's pricing will see it undercut its rival GLP-1 agonists Byetta (exenatide), now owned by Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Novo Nordisk's Victoza (liraglutide) in the UK.

Lyxumia will cost £54.14 for 28 days of treatment, compared to £68.24 for 30 days of treatment with Byetta and £78.48 for 30 days of treatment with Victoza. 

Sanofi estimated that if all new GLP-1 patients were started on Lyxumia from the second quarter of 2013, the NHS could save £70.8m by the end of 2017.

Caroline Horwood, diabetes division director, said: "Sanofi recognises the cost pressures facing the NHS in today's financial climate and our diabetes portfolio is focused on trying to help people manage the complex challenges of diabetes by delivering innovative medicines that meet patient needs.

"We are delighted to be offering the NHS another high quality diabetes medicine that's easy for patients to use. The price is one that represents real value to both the NHS and Sanofi."

The drug's approval was based on data from the GetGoal clinical programme, which demonstrated that Lyxumia was able to reduce blood sugar levels and has a beneficial effect on body weight in patients with type 2 diabetes, with only a limited risk of hypoglycaemia.

The economic impact of severe hypoglycaemia in the UK is estimated at £30.4m and for moderate hypoglycaemia £41.8m, both of which Sanofi hopes its drug will help with. 

Sanofi has been putting a lot of resources recently into diabetes, where its key therapy in Lantus (insulin glargine), which Lyxumia is able to complement as an add-on therapy.

2nd May 2013

From: Sales

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