Pharmaceuticals Back from ADA 2016: Update on T2D treatments

News published on June Friday 24, 2016
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We thought it might be useful to provide some feedback from the 2016 ADA congress in New Orleans since it is very illustrative of the current trends in the diabetes field and as such is informative for companies working in the space which are under our coverage, like Novo-Nordisk, Sanofi, Zealand and Adocia.

Of course, the main point was to gain a better feel of how the clinical results were received by attendees of the presentations. From this perspective, CV outcome studies were very much in focus, testifying to the increasing relevance of morbidity-mortality trials when approving drugs to treat diabetes. Henceforth the aim is no longer just to say there is no harm but to prove a benefit.

Although the final LEADER results appeared disappointing to some investors, liraglutide is the first GLP-1 analogue to show CV benefit and we found the data very compelling across the board, including safety-wise. We know that SUSTAIN-6 also met the same primary endpoint and so we expect Novo-Nordisk to remain a solid leader in the GLP-1 class.

Moving to the combination of GLP-1 with basal insulins, they were also the subject of much excitement because of clear positive efficacy results together with simple daily administration. Although price can be an issue, the point is now to see how Sanofi and Novo-Nordisk will leverage their respective opportunities in the category. The next step is to get both iGlarLixi and Xultophy approved by the FDA in the coming months.

In terms of summarizing ADA 2016 for the different companies involved in diabetes, we would say that (i) overall it was positive for Novo-Nordisk which is the most innovative and science-driven player in the field with the largest range of promising product opportunities. The issue might be to drive this value-based strategy in an increasing difficult market price-wise; (ii) Sanofi is doing the best it can with its glargine-based portfolio and iGlarLixi is key to remaining in the loop and maintaining positive momentum; (iii) obviously, this is even more the case for Zealand since it is highly dependent on iGlarLixi which represents more than two-thirds of the total valuation; (iv) no direct read-out for Adocia but a lot of indirect ones that are very positive overall. This is the only FV change in this report.

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