Januvia and Janumet
Januvia and Janumet are two blockbuster drugs in Merck’s (MRK) diabetes franchise. These drugs are used to lower blood sugar level in patients with type-II diabetes. The combined sales for these drugs was ~$1.6 billion for 3Q16, a 2% fall at constant exchange rates, offset by 1% positive impact of foreign exchange. This results in a 1% fall in the total sales of these drugs in 3Q16, as compared to 3Q15.
Importance of Januvia and Janumet
Januvia and its combination version, Janumet, are drugs classified as DPP-4 inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4, which removes incretin from the human body in normal cases for people without type-2 diabetes. However, people with type-2 diabetes require these DPP-4 inhibitors in order to prevent low blood sugar and weight gain.
Januvia has a very high share in Japan, as DPP-4 inhibitors have more patient days of therapy than other treatments. Notably, Japan has been a very fast uptake market for DPP-4 usage.
Contributions of Januvia and Janumet
Januvia and Janumet together contributed about 14.7% of Merck’s total revenues in 3Q16, a ~0.9% fall as compared to 3Q15. These drugs are estimated to contribute over 15% in 4Q16.