Novo's new tri­al re­sults stoke block­buster hopes, with oral semaglu­tide scor­ing again in Phase II­Ia

No­vo Nordisk is build­ing a block­buster case for its di­a­betes drug semaglu­tide, trot­ting out Phase II­Ia tri­al re­sults Mon­day that show its new pill ver­sion of the drug worked bet­ter than place­bo at re­duc­ing weight and blood sug­ar in pa­tients. Should the oral ver­sion reach the mar­ket, No­vo would gain an edge in the Type 2 di­a­betes mar­ket to com­pete with Eli Lil­ly’s ri­val drug Jar­diance.

Semaglu­tide, first ap­proved as an in­jectable by the FDA late last year un­der the brand name Ozem­pic, falls in the block­buster class of drugs known as GLP-1s. This lat­est tri­al, called Pi­o­neer-5, put an oral ver­sion of the drug up against a place­bo in 324 peo­ple with Type 2 di­a­betes and mod­er­ate re­nal im­pair­ment. The study pri­mar­i­ly looked at how No­vo’s pill in­flu­enced lev­els of gly­cat­ed haemo­glo­bin (HbA1c), an im­por­tant mea­sure for drug­mak­ers hop­ing to low­er the risk of heart fail­ure and oth­er com­pli­ca­tions as­so­ci­at­ed with high blood sug­ar over time.

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Vice President

Alexandria Real Estate Equities

San Francisco, CA, USA