Lilly launches Trulicity (dulaglutide) in the US - November 10, 2014

Lilly announced this morning that Trulicity (dulaglutide) is now available in US pharmacies, making it the first ready-to-use once weekly GLP-1 agonist to reach the market. As a reminder, Trulicity received FDA approval in September and is also under review in the EU. Trulicity is available in 0.75 and 1.5 mg doses, both administered via a single-use autoinjector.  We had a chance to put our hands on a demonstration model of the pen at EASD and found it incredibly user-friendly, as patients can administer the drug with a single push of a button, without ever needing to see a needle. We see this as a huge advantage for patient adherence as Trulicity requires less time and burden (no need to shake to reconstitute) than the market's other once-weekly GLP-1 agonists, AZ's Bydureon (exenatide) and GSK's Tanzeum/Eperzan (albiglutide). These two competitors both currently require patient-end reconstitution, though both companies are working on ready-to-use liquid formulations. Lilly is also offering a cost-saving program, the Trulicity Savings Card, that will allow commercially insured patients to pay as little as $25 per month out of pocket for up to two years. During Lilly’s 3Q14 update, management suggested that Trulicity is likely to be a catalyst for growth of the entire GLP-1 agonist class – we agree with this assessment, and we also believe the drug could potentially draw some share from Novo Nordisk’s Victoza (once-daily liraglutide), which held 72% of the GLP-1 agonist market as of the company’s 3Q14 update.