Byetta Breaks the Piggy Bank

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San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., posted a second-quarter loss of $64.8 million, or 47 cents per share. This compares to a 2007 second-quarter loss of 45 million, or 34 cents a share.

The per-share loss was two cents below what Wall Street analysts had predicted.

Analysts say the reason for the loss is the increased research and development expense posed by Amylin’s development of a once-weekly form of its type 2 diabetes treatment drug, Byetta.

Byetta (exenatide), which has been on the market since 2005, has become a popular twice-daily treatment for glucose control. Its beneficial side effects include significant weight loss and lowered A1c’s, as well as appetite control.

Amylin is now spending significant sums on the creation of a once-weekly form of the drug, which is now in Phase 3 trials. The company plans to apply for final FDA approval of the drug by this time next year.

Second-quarter sales of Byetta reached $177.5 million—about 79 percent of the company’s total of $224.3 million in revenues. Research costs in the same period amounted to $75.4 million, while overall sales, management, and administrative costs reached $111 million.

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