PARIS and LONDON, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) today announced that their marketing authorisation application for ONGLYZA(TM) (saxagliptin) received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults as add-on therapy with metformin, a thiazolidinedione or a sulphonylurea.

The positive opinion was reached after the CHMP reviewed data from a comprehensive clinical development programme that included six core Phase III trials assessing the safety and efficacy of saxagliptin as a once-daily therapy. These involved 4,148 patients with type 2 diabetes, including 3,021 patients treated with saxagliptin.(1-5)

Saxagliptin belongs to the class of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. These are designed to enhance the body's ability to decrease blood sugar (glucose) when it is elevated by acting on the natural hormones, incretins, thereby increasing insulin production, and by reducing the liver's production of glucose.

This application to the CHMP is for use as a once-daily 5mg dose in adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycaemic control:

- in combination with metformin, when metformin alone, with diet and exercise, does not provide adequate glycaemic control; - in combination with a sulphonylurea, when the sulphonylurea alone, with diet and exercise, does not provide adequate glycaemic control in patients for whom use of metformin is considered inappropriate; or - in combination with a thiazolidinedione, when the thiazolidinedione alone, with diet and exercise, does not provide adequate glycaemic control in patients for whom use of a thiazolidinedione is considered appropriate.(1-5)

The CHMP's positive opinion on ONGLYZA will now be reviewed by the European Commission which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union. Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca expect the European Commission to issue its decision on a Marketing Authorisation for this type 2 diabetes investigational drug in the European Union in the coming months.

About DPP-4 Inhibitors

DPP-4 inhibitors are a class of compounds that work by affecting the action of natural hormones in the body called incretins. Incretins decrease elevated blood sugar levels (glucose) by increasing the body's utilisation of sugar, mainly through increasing insulin production in the pancreas and decreasing glucagon secretion.

About Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a chronic disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches (carbohydrates) and other nutrients into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be investigated, and both genetic and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play a role. Diabetes is associated with long-term complications that affect almost every part of the body. The disease may lead to blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations and nerve damage.

There are two primary underlying causes associated with type 2 diabetes: the body does not produce enough insulin (insulin deficiency), or the cells ignore the insulin (insulin resistance). Symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually, and their onset is not as sudden as in type 1 diabetes. Symptoms may include fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and slow healing of wounds or sores. Some people, however, have no symptoms.

Type 2 diabetes is most often associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity and certain ethnicities. People with type 2 diabetes often are characterised with: insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, having low HDL-C (good) cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels and hypertension. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 85 to 95 percent of all diabetes. The IDF says that across the world there are 246 million people with both types of diabetes. Taking a 90 percent figure for type 2 this equates to roughly 221 million people with type 2 diabetes globally. It is estimated there are more than 47 million people in Europe with type 2 diabetes.(6)

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) recommends a haemoglobin A1C measurement of less than 6.5 percent for most people with type 2 diabetes.(7)

Haemoglobin A1C is a measurement of a person's average blood glucose level over a two-to-three month period and is considered an important marker of long-term glucose control. Other important markers for type 2 diabetes include fasting plasma glucose, a measure of a person's blood glucose after at least eight hours of fasting, and postprandial glucose, a measure of a person's blood glucose after a meal.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca Collaboration

Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca entered into a collaboration in January 2007 to enable the companies to research, develop and commercialise two investigational drugs for type 2 diabetes - saxagliptin and dapagliflozin. The Bristol-Myers Squibb/AstraZeneca diabetes collaboration is dedicated to global patient care, improving patient outcomes and creating a new vision for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that a Market Authorisation will be granted by the European Commission or, if granted, that it will be granted in the time period indicated in this release. Forward-looking statements in the press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US$ 31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

AstraZeneca Forward-Looking Statement

The statements contained herein include forward-looking statements. Although we believe our expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any forward-looking statements, by their very nature, involve risks and uncertainties and may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those predicted.

The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of the preparation of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, certain of which are beyond our control, include, among other things, those risk factors identified in the Company's Annual Report/Form 20-F for 2007. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a profit forecast.

ONGLYZA is a trademark of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.


1. Rosenstock J, et al. Glucose-lowering activity of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor saxagliptin in drug-naïve patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 2008; 10: 376-386

2. De Fronzo, et al. The efficacy and safety of saxagliptin when added to metformin therapy in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes on metformin alone. Diabetes Care 2009: published ahead of print May 28, 2009, doi:10.2337/dc08-1984

3. Ravichandran S, et al. Saxagliptin Added to a Sulfonylurea is Safe and More Efficacious Than Up-titrating a Sulfonylurea in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Abstract presented at EASD, 2008

4. Allen E, et al. Saxagliptin Added To A Thiazolidinedione Improves Glycemic Control In Patients With Inadequately Controlled Type 2 Diabetes. Abstract presented at EASD, 2008

5. Jadzinsky M, et al. Saxagliptin given in combination with metformin as initial therapy improves glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes compared with either monotherapy: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 2009; 11: 611-622

6. International Diabetes Federation factsheet diabetes prevalence accessed 19 May, 2009

7. IDF Global Guideline for type 2 diabetes 2005: Chapter 6: glucose control levels accessed 19 May, 2009

Contacts: Media: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Carmel Hogan, +33-674-107-658, OR AstraZeneca, Neil McCrae, +44-207-304-5045,; Investors: Bristol-Myers Squibb, John Elicker, +1-609-252-4611, OR AstraZeneca, Edward Seage, +1-302-886-4065,; Jonathan Hunt, +44-777-570-4032,