Pfizer warns of lung cancer with inhaled insulin

hello everyone!

just read this online, i thought i might share this one, i recall somebody started a discussion in here involving the use exubera as a way of treatment…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc and Nektar Therapeutics said on Wednesday clinical trials of the inhaled insulin Exubera found increased cases of lung cancer, leading Nektar to end talks with potential partners to market the product.

Nektar shares tumbled 24 percent in early trading, while shares of MannKind Corp, which has been developing its own inhaled insulin, plummeted more than 56 percent. Pfizer was little changed at $21.00.

Over the course of the clinical trials, Pfizer said six of the 4,740 Exubera-treated patients versus one of the 4,292 patients not treated with Exubera developed lung cancer. One lung cancer case was also found after Exubera reached the market.

Pfizer updated the Exubera labeling to include a warning with safety information about lung cancer cases found in patients who used Exubera, which U.S. regulators approved in January 2006.

The warning states all patients who developed lung cancer had a prior history of cigarette smoking, and that there were too few cases to determine whether the development of lung cancer is related to Exubera use.

Pfizer said in October it would stop marketing Exubera, ending its involvement with a product once thought to have the potential to become a $2 billion-a-year blockbuster with the promise of helping diabetics avoid needle sticks. Instead, sales were negligible.

The warning in the label stemmed from an ongoing review of data from the Exubera clinical trial program and post-marketing experience by Pfizer and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer said.

Pfizer said it will be discussing the timing of marketing authorization withdrawals with regulatory agencies.

Since Pfizer’s exit last year, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk also ended inhaled insulin development programs.

It is hard to imagine how their market research could have been so wrong about how many people would actually use inhaled insulin ptoducts. The reason these products failed was because so few people used (that is, purchased) inhaled insulin products . It seems to me that this failure indicates how little these companies understand the things that people with diabetes want and need. Cancer warnings are just another nail in the coffin of inhaled insulin products