As Amylin Pharmaceuticals must painfully acknowledge today, head-to-head studies are a massive gamble. No matter how carefully designed, an undesirable outcome is always possible.
Expectations were that the company’s new once-weekly diabetes drug Bydureon would prove just as good as Novo Nordisk’s once-daily Victoza at lowering diabetics’ blood sugar levels; some were even hoping it would show superiority. The 25% plunge in the US biotech’s share price this morning indicates that none were anticipating Bydureon to fall short in a head-to-head study. As a result, Novo has been handed a huge gift in the battle for market share among these GLP-1 agonists, while Amylin has scored a grievous own goal.