4 Byetta users’ deaths reported

From Times Wire Services

Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported four new deaths in patients taking Byetta, even as the companies tried to shore up the safety profile of their diabetes drug.

The announcement comes a week after the Food and Drug Administration said two Byetta patients died of acute pancreatitis, sinking shares of both drug makers.

Eli Lilly Medical Director James Malone said the four had complicating medical conditions, which were probably the primary cause of death.