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October 18, 2005
Waiting for Pargluva
Well, that title above doesn't sound like something you'll see on a Broadway marquee, does it? As predicted here, although it didn't exactly take psychic powers, the FDA has asked for more cardiovascular data for the new PPAR alpha-gamma drug Pargluva.
Merck and Bristol-Meyers Squibb are quoted as saying that they're "eager to talk" to the agency to find out what's required, and I'll bet they are. Analysts have pushed the likely launch date of the drug back to late next year.
I'm starting to wonder if the PPAR drugs are ever going to able to live up to the expectation that many people had for them. The whole point of an alpha-gamma combination was to reduce blood sugar and improve cardiovascular health at the same time, which makes the emergence of cardiovascular risk with Pargluva particularly annoying.
That whole nuclear receptor field is still a wonderful area for basic research, but turning things into useful drugs has been harder than anticipated. For a while there, it looked as if we'd be able to take all sorts of combination of the three subtypes and turn out drugs for all sorts of indications - diabetes, high blood lipids, various cancers, wound healing, what have you. And perhaps we still can, after another ten or twenty years of hard labor.
(Some of my personal history with these compounds will be illustrated within the next month or so in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, for those who are interested.)
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