Denmark Stocks Index Plunges Most Since 2008

Denmark’s benchmark Copenhagen OMX 20 Index posted the biggest retreat since 2008 after its largest constituent, Novo Nordisk A/S, failed to obtain U.S. approval for an insulin medicine.

The OMX Copenhagen 20 index lost 6.6 percent to 520.37 at the close of trading, matching the 6.6 percent retreat on Oct. 22, 2008. Novo Nordisk, which accounted for 46 percent of the benchmark at the end of last week, fell 13 percent.

Today’s drop pushes the benchmark gauge to the 12th rank this year among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg News. The measure has still advanced 4.9 percent so far in 2013.

Novo Nordisk’s gains in the past four years helped the OMX Copenhagen 20 beat a gauge of euro-area stocks every year since 2008. The more than 300 percent rally by the drug company’s shares since April 2009 prompted NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen this month to ask media outlets to use an existing version of the index that caps every member’s weighting at 20 percent.

Novo Nordisk, the world’s largest insulin maker, failed to win approval for a new insulin as regulators sought a study to assess heart risk, dealing the company a setback in its contest with Sanofi for the diabetes market.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a so-called complete response letter Feb. 8, saying the insulin, Tresiba, wouldn’t be approved without more data on heart safety. Novo Nordisk said it’s unlikely to be able to provide the information next year. The FDA said Novo Nordisk must also resolve a warning letter on one of its plants before Tresiba is approved.

Shares in the Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based company dropped 13 percent to 928.50 kroner.

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