Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMLN), Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and Alkermes, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALKS) today announced results from a thorough QT (tQT) study that assessed the potential of exenatide to increase the QT interval across a wide range of plasma concentrations. The study was conducted to satisfy a requirement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in support of the New Drug Application (NDA) for BYDUREON™ (exenatide extended-release for injectable suspension), an investigational medication for type 2 diabetes. Using multiple heart rate correction methodologies, the study met the pre-specified primary endpoint, demonstrating that exenatide at and above therapeutic levels did not prolong the corrected QT (QTc) interval in healthy individuals. Further, the study found no relationship between QTc interval and plasma exenatide concentrations.
The QT interval represents the amount of time the heart's electrical system takes to repolarize, or recharge, after each beat. As prolongation of the QT interval may increase the risk for cardiac arrhythmias, the FDA requires a tQT study for most new drugs in development. A tQT study is a specialized clinical trial designed to assess whether an investigational medication has the potential to prolong the QT interval.
"The findings of this tQT study are clear. Exenatide did not lead to QT prolongation, even at very high concentrations in the blood," said Christian Weyer, M.D., senior vice president, research and development, Amylin Pharmaceuticals. "This study was designed in accordance with existing guidelines and in consultation with the FDA. We are confident in these results and will continue to work toward making BYDUREON available to patients in the U.S. as soon as possible."
In its October 2010 complete response letter, the FDA requested a tQT study with exposures of exenatide at higher than typical therapeutic levels of BYDUREON, such as those that might be achieved in patients with impaired renal function. The companies plan to submit results of the tQT study to the FDA in the third quarter of 2011 as part of their reply to the complete response letter for the BYDUREON NDA.
Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; Alkermes, Inc.