The addition of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s glucagon-like peptide 1 franchise will give partners Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca plc three modern mechanisms in their commercial diabetes portfolio and five in the pipeline - more than any other players in the diabetes space.

Amylin's two GLP-1 products - once-weekly Bydureon exenatide and twice-daily Byetta exenatide - together are the second-ranked GLP-1s by sales behind Novo Nordisk A/S's Victoza liraglutide. But BMS and AZ believe they can boost sales of Bydureon by leveraging their much larger sales organizations, which have greater reach into primary care and emerging markets than Amylin would have been able to accomplish on its own.