LONDON: Novo Nordisk mentioned on Tuesday (Aug 8) a big late-stage research confirmed its weight problems drug Wegovy had a transparent medical profit, along with weight reduction, boosting the Danish drugmaker’s hopes of shifting past Wegovy’s picture as a way of life drug.
In a press release, the Danish drugmaker mentioned the weekly injection diminished the chance of a significant cardiovascular occasion like a stroke by 20 per cent in chubby or overweight folks with a historical past of coronary heart illness, exceeding expectations from a key late-stage trial.
That is considerably higher than the 15 to 17 per cent anticipated by buyers and analysts forward of the eagerly-awaited information.
The research known as SELECT concerned 17,500 sufferers aged 45 years or older with no prior historical past of diabetes and began nearly 5 years in the past testing if the weekly injection has medical advantages.
The information despatched shares in Europe’s second-most useful listed firm after LVMH up greater than 13 per cent to report highs. The shares have surged nearly 150 per cent over the previous two years.
The outcomes could assist persuade insurers in the USA and cost-conscious well being authorities in Europe to cowl the price of Wegovy for a broader phase of sufferers.
The US Medicare well being plan for older People, for instance, classifies weight-loss therapies as way of life medicine.
Consultants say the brand new information could lead on the US, the place Wegovy prices US$1,300 a month, to reassess that.
The landmark trial information reveals Wegovy has “the potential to alter how weight problems is regarded and handled”, mentioned Martin Holst Lange, government vice chairman for improvement at Novo Nordisk, in a press release.
Novo Nordisk mentioned it expects to file for regulatory approvals of a label indication enlargement for the weekly injection in the USA and European Union this yr.
The detailed outcomes from the trial might be offered at a scientific convention later in 2023.
CAUSE A STIR
The more and more well-liked drug has reworked the weight-loss market since its US launch in June 2021, capturing the eye of sufferers, buyers and celebrities worldwide and boosting Novo’s shares.
The injection makes sufferers really feel full for longer and results in a median weight lack of round 15 per cent when mixed with modifications to weight-reduction plan and train. It belongs to a category of medication referred to as GLP-1 agonists, initially developed to deal with sort 2 diabetes.
Over 650 million adults worldwide are overweight, greater than 3 times as many as in 1975, and roughly one other 1.3 billion are chubby, exacerbating situations equivalent to coronary heart illness and diabetes, the World Well being Group says.
Sydbank analyst Soren Lontoft Hansen mentioned the better-than-expected outcomes will trigger a stir amongst medical doctors who prescribe anti-obesity medicine.
“It might additionally improve the probability that payers in sure markets will have interaction in dialogue relating to Novo additionally having the ability to get hold of subsidies in some markets,” he mentioned.
In Europe, Wegovy is out there in Norway, Denmark and Germany.
The Danish and Norwegian public well being authorities have mentioned they may rethink whether or not to cowl the drug, which they at the moment don’t, as soon as SELECT outcomes had been in.
Barclays analysts have estimated a constructive end result from the research might increase uptake of Wegovy by 1 / 4 by 2030 if it will get approval for expanded use.
That could possibly be a blended blessing as a result of the corporate is already struggling to fulfill sky-rocketing U.S. demand.
In Might, it mentioned it was halving the provision of starter doses to the U.S. market to make sure provides for current sufferers.