UK’s first DPP-4 Inhibitor for Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Receives Top Honour in Pharmaceutical Industry Prix Galien Awards

01 October 2007: Merck Sharp & Dohme’s ‘Januvia’®? (sitagliptin), the Company's treatment for type 2 diabetes, last week received the highly acclaimed 2007 Award for Best Pharmaceutical Agent at the Prix Galien USA Awards.

Recognising outstanding achievement in the development of new medicines, the awards are internationally renowned and often considered the industry’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize - the highest accolade for pharmaceutical research and development. Sitagliptin was considered alongside 19 other compounds as part of the awards process.   

Sitagliptin, the first in a new class, was licensed in the UK in April 2007 and has to date been prescribed in over one million people globally. As a DPP-4 inhibitor, it works with the body's own way of controlling blood glucose, by increasing levels of gut hormones found naturally in the body, called incretins.  Offering the convenience of a once-daily treatment, sitagliptin offers substantial blood glucose reduction1 and is associated with a low incidence of hypoglycaemia and a low risk of weight gain.2,3

Currently, despite pharmacological intervention, approximately two-thirds of adults with type 2 diabetes in the UK are not reaching recommended levels of glycaemic control.4 Diabetes costs the NHS approximately £150,000 every hour, with the majority spent on treating complications.5

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, a GP and Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, commented: “There is a strong need for innovative therapies to help in the ongoing battle against the growing diabetes epidemic. Sitagliptin offers a completely novel and additional approach to help manage people with type 2 diabetes and this award reflects this contribution to medicine”.

Sitagliptin 100mg is indicated once daily in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycaemic control as an add-on to metformin or a thiazolidinedione (glitazone) when diet and exercise plus either therapy alone does not provide adequate glycaemic control.1,2,3,6

- ends – 

For further information, please contact:

Georgie Griffith / Francesca McNeil  

Cohn & Wolfe

Office: 020 7331 5369 / 5350


Louise Barr / Helen Wright

Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited

Office: 01992 452126 / 467272

Notes to editors

For full prescribing information, including Clinical Particulars and Pharmacological Properties, please refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics included in this press kit.  If the SPC is missing, please contact any of the individuals listed at the end of this release for a copy.

'Januvia'® is a Registered Trademark of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA

Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD) is the UK subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA, a leading research-based pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of innovative pharmaceutical products to improve human health.

Prix Galien USA - The Prix Galien recognizes the pharmaceutical industry's outstanding achievement in the development of new medicines. An internationally recognized award, the Prix Galien was founded in France in 1969 by French pharmacist, Roland Mehl, and the 2007 ceremony was the Prix Galien's inaugural event in the United States. The Prix Galien, often considered the industry’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, is the highest accolade for pharmaceutical research and development. 


1.       'Januvia' (sitagliptin). Summary of Product Characteristics. MSD UK. 2007

2.       Raz I. et al. Sitagliptin Monotherapy Improved Glycemic Control and Beta-Cell Function after 18 Weeks in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM). 66th ADA Scientific Sessions. Abstract # 1996-PO

3.       Nonaka K. et al. Twelve-week Efficacy and Tolerability of Sitagliptin, a Dipeptidyl Peptidase-IV (DPP-4) Inhibitor, in Japanese Patients with T2DM. Abstract # 537-P

4.       Saydah SH, et al. Poor Control of Risk Factors for Vascular Disease Among Adults with Previously Diagnosed Diabetes. JAMA 2004; 291:335–342

5.       Wanless D. Securing our Future Health: Taking a long-term view. Final report. HM Treasury. April 2002.  Chapter 2. Page 25. Section 2.49. (This figures is calculated from an annual cost of £1.3 billion)

6.       Deacon C, Ahréns B, Holst JJ.  Inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase IV: a novel approach for the prevention and treatment of Type 2 diabetes? Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 2004 13:9, 1091-1102

Healthcare Republic does not have an editorial influence or input in to these press releases. The views expressed within these documents are not endorsed by Healthcare Republic or Haymarket Medical Publications Limited.

Enquiries should be directed to any contacts listed within the press releases.


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