No­vo’s big re­veal: GLP-1 drug semaglu­tide cuts car­dio risks, but just may blind you

First, the good news for No­vo Nordisk’s di­a­betes drug semaglu­tide: The drug re­duced the num­ber of ma­jor car­dio events by 26% among high-risk pa­tients in a late-stage tri­al.

Now, the bad news: There was a sig­nif­i­cant spike in di­a­bet­ic retinopa­thy among pa­tients tak­ing semaglu­tide — with an un­ex­pect­ed­ly high­er rate of blind­ness — and they al­so dropped out of the drug arm at a faster pace.

The big num­ber that No­vo will fo­cus on as it preps for an ex­pect­ed ap­proval: 39%, which mea­sures a ma­jor re­duc­tion in the risk of stroke. There was al­so a drop in the rate of heart at­tacks in the drug arm, but re­searchers say that it wasn’t sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant.

Endpoints News

Unlock this article instantly by becoming a free subscriber.

You’ll get access to free articles each month, plus you can customize what newsletters get delivered to your inbox each week, including breaking news.