Novo Nordisk makes case for early Victoza use

COPENHAGEN, Sept 13 Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:02am EDT

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COPENHAGEN, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) said new data showed people with type 2 diabetes experienced improvements in controlling blood sugar levels when using its diabetes drug Victoza early in their treatment.

The world's biggest insulin producer said on Tuesday a significantly higher proportion of patients reached the target for blood sugar control when the drug was administered early in treatment of type 2 diabetes patients who had not received treatment before or previously only one oral anti-diabetic drug.

In a 26-week analysis, Victoza given to patients who had not received any treatment before, or previously received only one oral anti-diabetic drug, produced greater blood sugar efficacy than in patients taking two or more oral anti-diabetic drugs, Novo Nordisk said.

The data also showed early use with Victoza provided greater clinical benefit and potential improvement in the function of beta-cells (which produce insulin), compared with Victoza treatment later in the disease.

"These data support the existing treatment guidelines and highlight in a scientific manner that it makes sense using Victoza already as a second drug," chief science officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen told Reuters.

"Already, when metformin (the first drug) is no longer enough, which is typically already during the first two to five years of the illness," Krogsgaard Thomsen said.

Victoza is conventionally used later in the treatment, with patients likely to use oral diabetes treatment metformin as the first drug at the start of the treatment.

The data was presented at a Portugal conference of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Novo said. (Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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