Novo Nordisk confident of amycretin obesity drug launch this decade


Adds detail on drug development, background in paragraphs 4-6

COPENHAGEN, March 8 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk's NOVOb.CO head of development on Friday told Reuters he was very comfortable the drugmaker would be able to launch the pill version of its experimental weight loss drug amycretin this decade.

"I never commit to timelines but I would be very comfortable to say at the very least within this decade," Martin Holst Lange said in an interview.

Novo expects both its new experimental obesity drugs cagrisema and amycretin to have similar cardiac benefits as its wildly popular weight-loss drug Wegovy.

Novo's share price soared on Thursday when the company told investors a Phase I trial of the pill version of amycretin showed participants lost 13.1% of their weight after 12 weeks, a bigger reduction than from Wegovy.

Novo Nordisk hopes to advance the development of amycretin in its oral and injectable form simultaneously, Lange said.

The drugmaker in August said a large study had shown Wegovy also had a clear cardiovascular benefit, boosting the Danish company's hopes of moving beyond its image as a lifestyle drug.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, writing by Stine Jacobsen and Louise Rasmussen, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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