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Novo Nordisk boosted by new type 2 diabetes launches

Rapid uptake of newcomer Ozempic aids growth

Novo

Novo Nordisk’s expansion into a series of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) products has helped boost sales despite loosing ground in the simple insulin market. 

Insulin sales were down 1% at constant exchange rates (CER) from the second quarter of 2018, but overall the company grew in sales by 5% CER and has raised its full-year guidance. According to Novo Nordisk, the sales decline of insulin was driven by declining sales and increased competition pressure in the US. However, the Danish pharma company also reported that its GLP-1 sales increased by 14% in North America, with a strong uptake of Ozempic and Saxenda.

GLP-1 drugs are a relatively new group of treatments for type 2 diabetes. These drugs help to increase the body’s levels of hormones known as ‘incretins’ and encourgage insulin production only when it is needed, as well as helping to reduce the amount of glucose being produced by the liver.

Ozempic has continued to grow since its FDA approval, with EvaluatePharma predicting that the drug could become a $2.2bn product by 2022. Other analysts believe the drug could top that figure, with some predicting that Ozempic could reach $3bn plus at its peak. The drug seems to be on the right track to reach this, pulling in 2.3bn Danish crowns ($345m) in the second quarter of 2019.

Novo Nordisk also saw sales of its obesity drug Saxenda increase by 56%, and in an earnings call CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen reported that it now holds 50% of the global market share. Due to the growth and continued success of Saxenda and Ozepmic, the company is predicting an operating profit growth of between 4% and 6% by the end of the year.

On the R&D front, Novo Nordisk is seeking to extend the use of Ozempic and has initiated three large scale trials – FOCUS, FLOW and SUSTAIN FORTE. These trials will investigate the use of Ozempic in different settings and fordifferent outcomes, as itcontinuesto gain on rival Trulicity from Eli Lilly.

Although Ozempic still has some way to go, these trials are likely an effort to expand the drug’sindications as it hopes to prove dominance over Trulicity. Novo Nordisk has already produced data for a cardiovascular risk reduction claim for oral Ozempic, which it has filed with the FDA under a standard review which is expected to be completed early next year.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

12th August 2019

From: Sales

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