Wegovy Maintains Weight Loss Over Four Years, Novo Nordisk Reports

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.14 - 2024 12:15 PM CET

Photo: KK Stock / Shutterstock.com
Photo: KK Stock / Shutterstock.com
Novo Nordisk's Wegovy treatment demonstrated sustained weight loss over four years, according to long-term study results

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Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, announced that patients using its Wegovy obesity treatment maintained an average of 10% weight loss over four years.

The data showcased by Novo Nordisk comes from a large-scale study, the majority of whose results were published last year.

Martin Holst Lange, head of development at Novo, stated, "This is the longest study we've conducted so far of semaglutide for weight loss," referring to the active ingredient in Wegovy and its diabetes counterpart, Ozempic.

He emphasized that weight loss remains stable over time as long as patients continue the medication.

Drug Competitiveness

These results could improve Novo Nordisk’s position as it seeks broader insurance coverage and government reimbursement for Wegovy, challenging the notion that the drug is merely a lifestyle enhancement.

The company's shares rose by 1.1% in early trading, following positive feedback from a late-stage trial of their hemophilia A drug, which analysts predict could present a $2 billion opportunity, surpassing treatments from competitors like Roche.

Future Applications

Wegovy leads a new class of GLP-1 agonists initially developed for diabetes and has seen high demand along with Eli Lilly's Zepbound, introduced in the United States in December.

Supply has struggled to meet this demand.

The study, known as Select, involved 17,604 patients assessing Wegovy’s cardiovascular benefits for overweight and obese patients with heart disease but not diabetes. After 65 weeks on Wegovy, patients lost nearly 10% of their total body weight, a result that was largely maintained throughout the four-year period, ending with an average weight loss of 10.2%.

These findings are important as they address concerns about long-term effectiveness. Initially, Britain's NHS limited Wegovy coverage to two years, but sustained benefits up to four years could influence future decisions.

Novo Nordisk is exploring further medical applications for Wegovy and Zepbound, including reducing the risks of heart attacks, and treating sleep apnea and kidney disease, potentially expanding their use beyond weight management.

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