Novo's Oral Diabetes Drug Hits Heart-Safety Goal in Study

(Bloomberg) -- Novo Nordisk A/S’s tablet version of its Ozempic injection for diabetes hit a heart-safety goal in a study that compared it with standard treatment alone.

Patients who received oral semaglutide along with the standard regimen suffered 21 percent fewer major heart complications than those who got a placebo, the Danish drugmaker said in a statement. While that wasn’t enough to show that the drug was safer than standard care, it hit the goal of showing it’s at least as safe, and also demonstrated significant reductions in cardiovascular-related and overall deaths.

Novo has been working to follow up on Ozempic, its once-a-week injection, with an oral drug that will be easier for patients to take. The medication is competing in a crowded field of treatments for type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the condition, that reduce the risk of heart disease.

“We have now established a solid efficacy and safety profile for oral semaglutide and we are looking forward to sharing the results with regulatory authorities during 2019,” Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo’s chief science officer, said in the statement.

The shares rose as much as 4.2 percent in Copenhagen.

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