AstraZeneca abandons diabetes drug

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has announced it is abandoning development of its Galida diabetes product amid fears that it could cause kidney damage.

Galida was in phase III trials but AstraZeneca today said results suggested it was unlikely to offer patients any advantage over existing products. There were also concerns over the risk it may increase the risk of kidney disease.

AstraZeneca’s Swedish information manager Staffan Ternby said that the company has taken the decision because “we have found it difficult to interpret the effects [of the drug] on the kidneys.”

The company’s CEO David Brennan said the decision to discontinue development of the drug was “disappointing.”

“We remain committed to further strengthening AstraZeneca’s pipeline of new medicines both from our own research efforts and through the continued pursuit of external opportunities to enhance our business,” he added.

A London-based dealer told the AFX financial news agency that sales of Galida had been expected to peak at $1.1 billion and therefore accounted for around 26 pence per share.

As a result, he expected AstraZeneca shares, which are listed in London to fall around 2 pct on today’s news.

The Local