Novo Nordisk A/S
) Victoza (liraglutide 3 mg) showed statistically significant
results in the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase
IIIa SCALE Diabetes study (n=846) for chronic weight
Victoza (once-daily), along with proper diet and physical
activity, showed greater improvements in risk factors related to
cardiovascular (CV) disease in addition to clinically significant
weight loss, at 56 weeks compared with placebo, in type II diabetes
patients who are overweight or suffering from obesity.
In the study, the patients treated with Victoza 3 mg achieved a
mean weight loss of 5.9% compared to 2% in patients treated with
placebo. Novo Nordisk said that the waist circumference of the
patients decreased 6.0 cm and 4.9 cm following treatment with
Victoza 3 mg and Victoza 1.8 mg respectively, compared to placebo
(which achieved a reduction of 2.8 cm). In this study, Victoza 3 mg
showed greater weight loss in patients than Victoza 1.8 mg.
Additionally, Victoza 3 mg and 1.8 mg led to a significant
reduction in systolic blood pressure and improvement in
inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (a good predictor of CV
disease), compared to placebo. Victoza 3 mg also showed improvement
in total cholesterol and fasting lipid levels in the patients.
We note that a phase IIIa SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes study
showed that the number of obese patients with normal blood glucose
at baseline who progressed to prediabetes, following treatment with
Victoza 3 mg, was significantly fewer than placebo. Victoza 3 mg
improved a wide range of CV disease risk markers in the
Novo Nordisk presented the above data at the International
Congress of Endocrinology (ICE) and the Endocrine Society's meeting
Victoza 3 mg is currently under review in the U.S. and the EU.
Novo Nordisk is looking to get Victoza 3mg approved for chronic
weight management in obese/overweight adults with comorbidities, as
an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical
Victoza is already approved at lower doses as an adjunct to diet
and exercise for treating adults suffering from type II diabetes to
improve blood glucose control.
We are pleased to see Novo Nordisk's progress with its diabetes
drug. Novo Nordisk carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include
Gilead Sciences Inc.
Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc.
). While Allergan and Gilead hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Quintiles carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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