RPT-Novo says degludec has potential to lower blood sugar

Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:12pm EDT

(Repeats story without changes)

COPENHAGEN, June 26 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) said on Saturday a Phase II clinical trial indicated its long-acting experimental degludec insulin has potential to lower blood sugar levels effectively, even when used only three times a week.

The world's biggest insulin maker said in a statement the next-generation insulin showed "potential to help achieve target glycaemic control when used once daily or three times weekly.

"(Blood sugar) reductions were similar across the once-daily and three-times-weekly insulin degludec groups ... and comparable to insulin glargine," the Danish group said.

Degludec is a potential fierce competitor to glargine, marketed as Lantus by Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA), and also to Novo's own modern insulin Levemir.

"In this study, 77 percent of patients treated with insulin degludec three times weekly did not experience any confirmed hypoglycaemia," Novo said. "This result was similar in the study arm using insulin glargine once daily."

With once-daily injections, 92 percent experienced no hypoglycaemia, a potentially dangerous over-reduction in blood sugar.

The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) yearly conference in Orlando, Florida.

IDegAsp, also known as degludecplus -- a combination of degludec and Novo's fast-acting aspart insulin -- taken once daily brought the majority of patients to ADA-recommended glycaemic targets without major hypoglycaemia, Novo said.

"In this proof-of-concept trial, there were 60 patients taking insulin glargine and 59 on IDegAsp with comparable glycaemic control," it said. (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by David Cowell)

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