Galida was in final Phase III clinical trials and was one of the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s biggest new drug hopes, Europe’s third-biggest drugmaker said that, after analyzing results from the first four of eight Phase III clinical trials, it believed that Galida was unlikely to offer patients significant advantage over currently available therapy.
An AstraZeneca spokesman said it was too early to say whether the firm would take a charge for discontinuing Galida, which is currently being taken by 2,245 patients in clinical trials.
The company said levels of creatinine - a muscle breakdown product which can lead to kidney problems - in patients taking Galida were higher than seen in previous studies.
The levels of creatinine flagged during Galida’s earlier studies had a number of analysts concerned about its likelihood of reaching the market.
Galida and Pargluva are both members of a class of diabetes treatments called dual PPAR agonists, which are designed to lower blood sugar and certain blood fats.
Such drugs have clear advantages in helping the growing number of people around the world who suffer from diabetes, but their development has been littered with failures over the last few years.
The decision to discontinue Galida is a further blow to AstraZeneca’s pipeline, which has suffered a number of setbacks in the last couple of years.
In February, the company pulled the plug on its new anti-coagulant Exanta, which was rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration two years ago because of its high levels of toxicity on the liver when used for a long period.
AstraZeneca also faced another disappointment in late 2004 when it had to admit that Iressa, a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, was unable to prolong the life of patients.
Company Web site: https://www.astrazeneca.com