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Novo to Probe One of Its Diabetes Drugs for Fatty Liver Disease

  • Victoza, Saxenda or semaglutide may get used in phase 2 test
  • Untapped liver disease market may reach $35 billion by 2026

Novo Nordisk A/S will begin testing one of its diabetes drugs to treat a growing liver disease tied to obesity next year, Chief Scientific Officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen said in a phone interview.

The company may use Victoza, Saxenda or semaglutide in a mid-stage test to gauge its ability to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, an ailment better known as NASH in which a buildup of fat in the liver causes inflammation, Thomsen said. The decision comes after a study at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. showed promising results when patients with NASH took Novo’s Victoza.