Introduction: Available drugs partially attenuate the hyperglycemia characteristic of diabetes. However, successful approaches to treat the root cause or to cure or prevent diabetes remain elusive. Drug discovery and development programs continue to focus on mechanisms that impact specific symptoms of diabetes. In 2014, programs were discontinued for a variety of reasons and these discontinued programs are discussed herein.
Areas covered: A search of discontinued products in the metabolic area for 2014 identified mostly compounds that were being developed to treat diabetes (mostly type 2 diabetes). Candidates were identified through the use of PharmaProjects. The author also sought information using Google, PubMed, HighWire and ClinicalTrials.gov. The discontinued development programs that were identified were not numerous as in previous years and so they are presented here without segregation into categories.
Expert opinion: In general, the specific reasons for the discontinuation of these programs have not been clearly disclosed. In some cases, business considerations are given, whereas in others, there are specific safety issues that emerged which were not expected from nonclinical experience. In the final analysis, it is clear that all of these programs have been discontinued because the evidence does not favor the type of efficacy and risk:benefit ratio that justifies additional expenditures. There remains a clear need for precise addressable mechanisms to affect the root causes of diabetes.
Keywords: diabetes discovery; discontinued drugs; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes.