The Race In Diabetes R&D
For decades, patients with diet-related (i.e. Type 2) diabetes have relied on drugs that improve insulin sensitivity and actions, such as metformin and the thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone and rosiglitazone). Drugs that stimulate insulin secretion (sulfonylureas) have been in use since the 1950s. But the treatments are far from perfect in safety or efficacy. Type 2 is about nine times more prevalent than Type 1, the autoimmune form of diabetes, for which insulin replacement is still the main therapy.
There are many contenders for the next blockbuster in diabetes, and it is easy to see why — a truly gigantic global market awaits. After efficacy and safety, which will determine the market leader, other products will have to compete on price, and who wants to do that? So, in discovery and development, the race is primarily scientific. Alliances at all scales, between companies far apart or equal in size, as well as academic innovators, will continue to form around diabetes R&D at an accelerating rate.
Here we focus on GSK as a company that can share insights from its long experience, challenges, and new approaches to diabetes prevention and therapy — speaking with Murray Stewart, head of GSK’s metabolic pathways therapy area unit.GSK and other drug discovery and development companies are taking new aim on the global diabetes explosion – sometimes alone, sometimes in league together.