Supplement | HBS Case Collection | November 2012

Amylin Pharmaceuticals (B)

by Richard G. Hamermesh and Carin-Isabel Knoop


Amylin Pharmaceuticals brought two first-in-class diabetes drugs to market, Byetta and Symlin, in 2005, which were sold in over 80 countries with $650.7 million in sales by 2011. However, the company remained unprofitable as sales plateaued. The small pharmaceutical company was hurt by long delays in bringing Bydureon, a once-a-week version of Byetta, to market, which allowed a competitor time to establish itself in the once-a-week market. Amylin also failed to develop a marketable anti-obesity drug after the purchase of the promising leptin molecule from Amgen, Inc. In 2012, Amylin was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for $5.3 billion.

Keywords: Pharmaceuticals; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Health Care and Treatment; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;


Hamermesh, Richard G., and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Amylin Pharmaceuticals (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 813-091, November 2012.