December 05, 2017
By Toni Clarke
(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved Novo Nordisk A/S’s diabetes drug Ozempic, setting the stage for a heated competitive battle with Eli Lilly & Co’s Trulicity.
Ozempic, known generically as semaglutide, will compete with others in a class known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogs, which imitate an intestinal hormone that stimulates the production of insulin.
The company did not immediately say how much the drug will cost, saying only that it will be priced “at parity” to current market-leading drugs in the same class.
Ozempic is a once-weekly injection that Novo Nordisk hopes will take market share from Trulicity, which has been taking share from Novo Nordisk’s once-daily Victoza. Novo Nordisk is also developing an oral form of semaglutide.
The approval comes as Novo Nordisk faces pricing competition to its existing diabetes products. The company is banking on Ozempic to help drive the overall growth of the GLP-1 market, which includes Trulicity and AstraZeneca Plc’s once-weekly Bydureon.
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