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Novo’s weight-loss drug Wegovy cuts risk of heart disease by 20% – trial data

Novo’s weight-loss drug Wegovy cuts risk of heart disease by 20% – trial data
Packages of prescription drugs Ozempic and Wegovy by Novo Nordisk sit on a table in Copenhagen, Denmark, 23 March 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Ida Marie Odgaard DENMARK)

Novo Nordisk NOVOb.CO said on Tuesday its obesity drug Wegovy reduced the risk of a major cardiovascular event like a stroke by 20% in overweight or obese people with a history of heart disease, exceeding expectations from a key late-stage trial.

The results are a big boost for the Danish drugmaker’s hopes of moving beyond Wegovy’s image as a lifestyle drug. The news sent shares in Europe’s second-most valuable listed company after LVMH LVMH.PA up more than 15%.

The large-scale trial called SELECT involved 17,500 patients and started almost five years ago testing if the weekly injection has medical benefits.

Ahead of the eagerly-awaited data, investors and analysts told Reuters they expected that a risk reduction of between 15% and 17% or more would be considered a positive result for the increasingly popular drug.

Novo Nordisk said in a statement it expects to file for regulatory approvals of a label indication expansion for the weekly injection in the United States and European Union this year.

The detailed results from the trial will be presented at a scientific conference later in 2023.

Wegovy has transformed the weight-loss market since its U.S. launch in June 2021, capturing the attention of patients, investors and celebrities worldwide and boosting Novo’s shares.

The weekly injection makes patients feel full for longer and leads to an average weight loss of around 15% when combined with changes to diet and exercise.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick;Editing by Josephine Mason and Sharon Singleton, Kirsten Donovan)

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  • Billy Meyer says:

    I feel that it is extremely irresponsible to publish this as if there is not massive critique of the expense and the safety of these drugs.

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