Novo says study shows weight loss from liraglutide

STOCKHOLM, June 16 (Reuters) - Denmark's Novo Nordisk NOVOb.CO said on Tuesday its biggest new drug hope, liraglutide, led to significant weight loss in obese people treated over one year.

Monday’s results were from a 32-week open-label extension of a 20-week Phase II study on which Novo Nordisk released data in November last year.

After 52 weeks, a once-daily quantity of liraglutide at the highest dose led to a weight loss of around 7.5 to 8.0 kg and a placebo-adjusted weight loss of around 5.5 to 6.0 kg, Novo said in a statement.

The weight loss after 20 weeks was just above 7 kg and 4.5 kg placebo-adjusted, the Danish group said, and compared with just above 4 kg in a group treated with Roche Holding AG's ROG.VX obesity drug Xenical, or orlistat.

“The results of the extension of the Phase II obesity study clearly demonstrates that liraglutide has a sustained ability to reduce body weight while at the same time providing protection against deteriorating glycaemic control,” Novo Nordisk Chief Science Officer Mads Thomsen said.

The Danish group expects to initiate a Phase III programme in obese people without diabetes before the end of this year. (Reporting by Kim McLaughlin; Editing by David Holmes)