Byetta (Exenatide) is an injectable subcutaneous anti-diabetic drug belonging to the class incretin mimetics, manufactured by San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals/Eli Lilly & Co. and distributed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP. Byetta is similar to Januvia, Janumet, and Victoza. All the four drugs are classified as Incretin Mimetics and used to treat Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. It is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist used as an adjunct to diet and exercise program, to improve the glycemic control in adult patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, bought Byetta for an estimated $5.3 billion in 2012.
The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 28th, 2005. On 2nd November 2009, it was approved for the expanded use as a First-line treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. On 20th October 2011, it was approved for use with Insulin Glargine in the U.S.
In January 2012, Bydureon, a once-weekly injection was finally approved by the FDA, which was rejected twice earlier in 2010 because of heart rhythm abnormalities. (Bydureon is a longer-lasting version of Byetta.)