Novo Nordisk’s experimental diabetes drug semaglutide hit an important milestone in a recent study.
The Danish drug maker announced its once-weekly injectable therapy significantly reduced cardiovascular risk by 26 percent in more than 3,000 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, reported Reuters.
Novo previously disclosed in April that the drug was able to lower the risk of cardiovascular events, but this latest notice is the first in which the company revealed the specific numbers related to this effect.
“The reduction in cardiovascular events observed with semaglutide in SUSTAIN 6 is notable given the small study population and the short trial duration,” Dr. Steven Marso, SUSTAIN 6 investigator and the lead author for the New England Journal of Medicine publication of SUSTAIN 6, said in a statement.
Lowering the possibility of cardiovascular events, like heart attack and strokes, is important for type 2 diabetes patients because about half of deaths related to this ailment occur due to heart disease.
Novo did acknowledge in its press release that there was a higher frequency of patients taking semaglutide who experienced complications from diabetic retinopathy, which causes damage to blood vessels at the back of the eye. Also, some participants had to discontinue treatment because of gastrointestinal events.
However, Novo plans to use this data along with an expanded trial exploring the drug’s benefits to make a case for a regulatory submission in the U.S. and Europe during the final quarter of 2016, explained Reuters.
Analysts predict this drug could bring in annual sales of $2.2 billion in 2022.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery