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Trulicity’s ascent lifts Lilly

Diabetes treatment leads new product growth

trulicity

Impressive growth from diabetes treatment Trulicity has helped Eli Lilly to post 7% growth in its full year results.

The once-weekly GLP-1 analogue is the company’s rising star, and was boosted in November when it unveiled compelling new cardiovascular outcomes data from its REWIND study.

Trulicity revenues rose 42% to $924.7m in the fourth quarter, with US revenues up a similar level thanks to higher demand, though tempered by downward pressure on prices.

This contributed to a full-year increase of 58% to $3.19bn, bringing it within reach of its main rival, Novo Nordisk’s daily injectable Victoza, which earned 3.7bn last year.

That means 2019 could see Trulicity overtake its rival, though Novo Nordisk has its next generation weekly GLP-1 Ozempic on the market, with an oral version also close to filing.

Also performing well in its diabetes franchise is Jardiance, the oral SGLT2 inhibitor treatment increasing revenues by 47% over the year to $658.3m

This year will also see Lilly expand its ambitions in cancer, most notably with the $8bn acquisition of Loxo and its first-in-class neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (NTRK) gene fusion Vitrakvi (larotrectinib).

The drug is approved in the US for patients with the NTRK gene mutation, most commonly seen in cancers of the salivary gland, thyroid, lung and soft tissue sarcoma, with EU approval expected in the coming months.

The company also recently gained FDA approval for Alimta in combination with Keytruda and platinum chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumour aberrations, which will help lift sales of the ageing cancer treatment.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the company gained EU-wide approval in November for Emgality, its contender in the new CGRP inhibitor class of migraine prevention medicines.

These new medicines will be needed to offset continued decline in its older blockbuster medicines, Cialis and Forteo and Humulin, which all earned over $1bn in 2018, but will start to slip below this level in 2019 amid continued generic competition.

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

6th February 2019

From: Marketing

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