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AstraZeneca Diabetes Pen Injector OK'd
WILMINGTON, Del. (USA Today) -- AstraZeneca has designed to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes ? a disease with soaring prevalence rates.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the pre-filled Bydureon Pen to administer a once-weekly dose of medicine, eliminating the need for patients to draw medication from a vial into a syringe, said Michele L. Meixell, AstraZeneca director of corporate external communications.
The treatment has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels and will be available to patients in the U.S. later this year.
The Bydureon Pen contains the same formulation and dose as the original Bydureon, which was approved by the FDA in 2012. That medication comes in a so-called single dose tray, which contains the medication, vial, vial connector and syringe.
The FDA approval of the Bydureon Pen offers a new treatment option for these patients, said Rich Daly, president, US Diabetes, AstraZeneca.
The innovation is the latest in AstraZeneca's efforts to invest heavily in emerging treatments for diabetes ? a disease that represents a $465 billion market. A growing epidemic, diabetes is projected to affect 550 million people worldwide by 2030.
AstraZeneca has made acquisitions and forged collaborations with other companies that have promising drugs in their developmental pipelines. Diabetes represents an important strategic area in returning AstraZeneca to growth as it works to offset losses from patent expirations on key medicines.
The most recent move was made last month, when AstraZeneca closed a deal to acquire Bristol-Myers Squibb'sinterests in a diabetes franchise the pair established in 2007.
Under the terms, the firm agreed to pay Bristol-Myers Squibb $2.7 billion and up to $1.4 billion in regulatory, launch and sales payments, as well as other sales royalty payments up to 2025.
The acquisition brings ownership of the alliance's intellectual property and global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize products from the business, Meixell said. In the U.S., that includes the treatments Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR, Byetta, Bydureon, Symlin and Myalept.
In January, the diabetes portfolio received another shot in the arm when Farxiga, a type 2 diabetes drug, was approved by the FDA.