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The FDA approves the diabetes medication Novo Nordisk Ozempic

(Reuters) – The US Food and Drug Administration. UU Approved on Tuesday the Ozempic diabetes medication from Novo Nordisk A / S, setting the stage for a heated battle with Eli Lilly & Co.'s Trulicity

PHOTO OF THE FILE: The Novo Nordisk logo is seen on Bagsvaerd in the suburbs from Copenhagen, Denmark, on February 1, 2017. Scanpix Denmark / Liselotte Sabroe through REUTERS

Ozempic, known generically as semaglutide, will compete with others in a class known as glucagon – such as peptide-1 analogs (GLP -1), which mimic an intestinal hormone that stimulates insulin production.

The company did not immediately say how much the drug will cost, and only said that it will have a "parity" price with the current market leading drugs in the same class.

Ozempic is a weekly injection that Novo Nordisk expects to take the market share of Trulicity, which has reduced Victoza sales once a day from Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk is also developing an oral form of semaglutide.

Approval occurs when Novo Nordisk faces price competition for its existing diabetes products. The company relies on Ozempic to help drive the overall growth of the GLP-1 market, which includes Trulicity and Bydureon once a week from AstraZeneca Plc.

Novo Nordisk is betting that the proven benefit of Ozempic's heart and the weight loss advantage over rival products will increase its appeal to both doctors and insurers.

Analysts on average expect Ozempic's annual sales to reach $ 3.17 billion by 2023, with sales of Trulicity, which was approved in the United States at the end of 2014, reaching $ 3,710 million in the same period , according to Thomson Reuters data.

Credit Suisse analysts estimate that in 2022 Novo Nordisk will have captured approximately 60 percent of the GLP-1 market compared to the 53 percent expected in 2017. They expect Lilly's LPG-1 ratio to increase to 33 percent. percent from 29 percent the same period

Pharmaceutical companies with diabetes are under pressure from insurers to offer attractive prices in exchange for a position on the formulary, the list of drugs approved by an insurance company for reimbursement.

Dr. Todd Hobbs, medical director of Novo Nordisk, said the company planned to "adopt a very competitive strategy with payers" to gain market share. He said the company has strong relationships with prescribers accumulated over the years with Victoza.

GLP-1 products are also expected to face increased competition from biosimilars, less expensive versions of rival diabetic drugs.

Report by Toni Clarke in Washington and Bill Berkrot in New York; Edition by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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