Novo dumps proposed Rybelsus successor for newer model
Barely over a month after gaining FDA approval for the first GLP-1 drug Rybelsus, Novo Nordisk is dumping the compound it had been developing as the lead successor to the Type 2 diabetes drug.
Novo reported in their Q3 financials that they were dumping the next-generation of oral semaglutide OG2023SC in favor of what it’s calling “enhanced next-generation” versions. The Danish drugmaker had just wrapped up a first in-human clinical trial for OG2023SC in January.
There’s no official word yet on what these “enhanced” compounds are, but FierceBiotech noted that Novo recently started two clinical trials that match the description. The summaries on ClinicalTrials.gov state simply “oral semaglutide” as the treatment instead of a drug number, but say one of the new experimental versions has 300 mg of SNAC (the fatty acid that promotes semaglutide absorption) and one helper agent, as opposed to 300 mg of SNAC and three helper agents in Rybelsus.
The trials are in Phase I and will administer varying doses of both the approved drug and the experimental versions on patients at different times to measure how much semaglutide the body absorbs.
Analysts pegged Rybelsus as a potential blockbuster, worth between $2 billion and $5 billion per year. The drug works by stimulating insulin production and in that regard outperformed oral SGLT-2 inhibitors such as Jardiance from Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim. Ozempic — Novo’s once-a-week injectable semaglutide — earned just over a billion dollars (DKK 6.872 billion) through September 30 this year.