Novo Says Degludec Can Help Diabetics With Complex Schedule
Novo Nordisk A/S said its experimental insulin degludec helped reduce diabetics’ blood- sugar levels as well as a rival product made by Sanofi in a study, even when patients didn’t take the drug at set times.
Patients taking degludec once a day at varying times fared about as well as those taking Sanofi’s Lantus at a fixed hour, according to a study released today at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference in Lisbon.
The Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based company is trying to show doctors and regulators degludec can be used safely at any time of day, allowing it to snatch market share from Lantus, the world’s best-selling insulin. Degludec may reap annual sales of 12 billion Danish kroner ($2.2 billion) by 2017, according to Alistair Campbell, a London-based analyst at Berenberg Bank.
A submission with regulators will come “very soon, in the next very few months” in Europe and the U.S., Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo’s chief science officer, said in an interview at the Lisbon meeting.
In the 26-week trial, patients were asked to alternate the timing of insulin injections to suit their daily activities, creating dosing intervals of between eight and 40 hours, according to an abstract of the study.
“Insulin degludec could potentially offer a real advance in diabetes management for patients who are challenged to maintain exactly the same schedule from day to day,” Stephen Atkin, the study’s lead author and the head of academic endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at York Hull Medical School in England, said in a statement sent by Novo.
Diabetics inject insulin because they don’t make enough of the hormone to prevent sugar from building up in their blood.
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