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Eli Lilly drops inhaled insulin

March 08, 2008|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Eli Lilly & Co. said Friday that it would terminate development of an inhaled insulin treatment for diabetes, which it was conducting in partnership with Alkermes Inc., after deciding that the product's potential for commercial success wasn't strong enough.

Lilly's decision marks the third setback in recent months for inhaled insulin formulations, once deemed potential blockbuster products because of their greater convenience than standard injectable insulin.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Alkermes said Lilly had the right to terminate its license to the inhaled treatment, Air Insulin, at its discretion.

Indianapolis-based Lilly said its decision was not based on safety concerns, "but rather was a result of increasing uncertainties in the regulatory environment, and a thorough evaluation of the evolving commercial and clinical potential of the product compared to existing medical therapies."

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