Ozempic in Kidney Failure Patients

Oct 12, 2023

Novo Nordisk has made the decision to end a study of the diabetes drug Ozempic, which was originally aimed at treating kidney issues in diabetic patients.

They're stopping this study earlier than planned because when they looked at the data partway through, it became very clear that the treatment was working well.

The decision to stop early came from a group of independent experts who were keeping an eye on the study's progress. These experts can recommend stopping a study early if they see strong evidence that the drug is either going to be successful or not.

As a result of this news, Novo Nordisk's stocks in the United States went up by 2.5% during after-hours trading.

In this study, they were checking if the widely used diabetes drug, which contains a substance called semaglutide, could slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease and reduce the chances of kidney and heart problems leading to death.

It's interesting to note that semaglutide is also the key ingredient in another powerful weight-loss drug by Novo Nordisk called Wegovy.

An analyst named Emily Field from Barclays pointed out that this decision reinforces the idea that drugs like Ozempic, which belong to the GLP-1 receptor agonist class, have benefits that go beyond what they were originally designed for.

Novo Nordisk has been doing exceptionally well this year, thanks to the high demand for its semaglutide-based diabetes and weight-loss drugs. This success has made the company worth a staggering $315 billion and briefly made it Europe's most valuable publicly listed company in September. Their stock has also gone up by about 17% since they announced in August that Wegovy had clear cardiovascular benefits.

This success story has had a positive impact on Denmark's economy, as noted by Danish economists, analysts, and executives at the Novo Nordisk Foundation.