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Novo Nordisk’s Oral Insulin Successfully Completes Early Study

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March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Novo Nordisk A/S’s oral insulin successfully completed an early-stage study, according to the Danish drugmaker’s partner, Merrion Pharmaceuticals Plc, bringing what would be the first product of its kind a step closer to market.

The goals of the clinical trial, the first of three phases of human testing usually required by regulators for marketing approval, were to test the insulin tablet’s safety, tolerability, exposure and effect on blood-sugar levels, Dublin-based Merrion said today in a statement.

Insulin, a hormone used by the body to convert blood sugar into energy, is currently only available as an injection for diabetics whose bodies either don’t produce enough insulin or have become resistant to it. Merrion’s Gipet technology was used in the formulation of Novo’s oral insulin, known as NN1954. Merrion will receive payments when the product meets certain goals during development under a 2008 agreement between the companies.

Eighty-three people were enrolled in the trial, which began in May and ended in October, according to an entry on the U.S. government website clinicaltrials.gov.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Hallam in London at khallam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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