San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMLN) and its partners—Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Waltham, MA-based Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS)—said today that their once-weekly injectable version of exenatide (Bydureon) was cleared for sale in Europe as a treatment for diabetes. The drug’s introduction has been delayed by regulators in the U.S., who have asked for more data on the drug’s potential effect on an abnormal heart rhythm known as QT prolongation. The companies said today they expect to respond to the FDA’s questions later this year. Amylin, Lilly, and Alkermes are all counting on this drug to become a future profit driver, as it represents the first once-weekly injectable medicine for diabetes, which often requires many more needlesticks.
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