Shares Surge as Novo Nordisk A/S Shows Off Positive Trial Data for Oral Insulin

Published: Feb 23, 2015

Shares Surge as Novo Nordisk A/S Shows Off Positive Tiral Data for Oral Insulin
February 20, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

Danish biopharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announced today that it has received positive data from its Phase II trial of OG217SC, an oral form of long-acting GLP-1 analogue semaglutide. As a result, the company’s shares have risen 4 percent in morning trading Friday.

In the trial, the drug was administered in 600 people with type 2 diabetes over the course of 26 weeks. All doses of oral semaglutide were statistically significantly superior to the placebo.

“We are very pleased with the results of this trial confirming the potential of semaglutide to treat type 2 diabetes, both as a once-weekly subcutaneous injection and as a oncedaily tablet,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk. “This clinical proof of concept marks an important milestone for oral peptide therapy within the field of diabetes.”

Semaglutide is a long-acting human GLP-1 analogue that stimulates insulin and suppresses glucagon secretion within the body. Its oral formation, OG217SC, comes in a tablet form with an absorption-enhancing excipient known as SNAC.

Moving into Other Areas of Research
While Novo Nordisk has been known to primarily focus its work on diabetes, the company has branched out as of late. In December 2014, Novo Nordisk announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved of its New Drug Application for 3 mg of liraglutide, also known as Saxenda.

The drug is the first one-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 that is designed to treat individuals with obesity. Saxenda is being recommended to patients in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

“Many people with obesity suffer from comorbidities,” said Thomsen, at the time of the announcement. “Saxenda has the potential to help some of these people achieve and maintain a clinically significant weight loss and improve their weight-related comorbidities.”

Approximately 35 percent of U.S. adults are living with obesity. The disease, which requires chronic management, has been linked to decrease life expectancy and certain types of cancer. Additionally, obesity is often associated with the development of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, which is a focus area for Novo Nordisk.

At the time of the Saxenda announcement, Novo Nordisk specified that it expects to launch the drug in the U.S. by the first half of 2015.

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