Novo Nordisk is hoping data from a phase III trial involving a higher dosage of its type 2 diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide) will show it can help overweight and obese people with the chronic disease lose weight.
The first of three studies in the pharmaceutical company’s SCALE clinical program showed promising results. Patients given a high (3mg) dose achieved a 6 percent reduction in weight compared to a 2 percent reduction in patients taking a placebo.
Victoza is already approved in 1.8 mg dosage, and previous studies have shown the drug can reduce weight in patients by 5 percent. The expanded approval of the higher dosage of Victoza for overweight and obese type 2 diabetes would help boost sales of the drug.
Marketing efforts for the treatment have included the highly publicized hiring of celebrity chef and cookbook author Paula Deen as a spokesperson. Deen, who is reportedly being paid millions to show her support for Victoza, admitted she had been diagnosed with diabetes three years prior to her announcement. Deen is known for her decadent fried, fatty and sugary foods.
Last week, Victoza and other diabetes medications in the same drug class made headlines when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was reviewing studies that linked drugs known as incretin mimetics to pancreatitis and precancerous pancreatic cancer.
Another class of type 2 diabetes drugs, known as thiazolidinediones, has already come under scrutiny by the FDA. In 2010, the agency severely restricted use of Avandia after it was tied to fatal heart attacks. A year later, the FDA warned that Actos had been linked to cases of bladder cancer.
Source: PM Live