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Data on NVO's Diabetes Drugs

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Novo Nordisk (NVO) presented new positive data from a phase III study on IDegLira. The data was presented at the World Diabetes Congress of the International Diabetes Federation. IDegLira is the combination product of insulin degludec, Tresiba and Victoza, the once-daily human GLP-1 analogue.

The data from the study showed that IDegLira achieved superior control of blood sugar levels (HbA1c) in comparison with Tresiba in patients suffering from type II diabetes. After 26 weeks, IDegLira was able to provide a mean HbA1C reduction of 1.90% compared to a reduction of 0.89% achieved from Tresiba. The study assessed the contribution of Victoza portion of IDegLira on the glycemic control.

In addition, Novo Nordisk presented data showing superiority of Ryzodeg over NovoMix 30. Ryzodeg is a soluble formulation of Tresiba and NovoRapid (known as NovoLog in the U.S.). 

Ryzodeg achieved primary endpoint of non-inferiority for mean change in HbA1c from baseline as well as secondary endpoint regarding the superiority in lowering FPG as compared to NovoMix 30.

As compared with NovoMix 30, Ryzodeg achieved improved glycemic control, significantly lower rates of overall and nocturnal confirmed hypoglycemia for the full trial period, and a significantly lower rate of severe hypoglycaemia during the maintenance period.

Novo Nordisk carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Novo Nordisk has a strong presence in the diabetes care market. The company has one of the broadest diabetes portfolios in the industry. The Diabetes Care segment recorded growth 10% in the third quarter of 2013. We believe that the positive data from the study has improved the chances of IDegLira being approved in the EU. Additionally, positive data on Ryzodeg will boost the sales when it will be launched in EU in 2014.

Some better-ranked stocks include Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (AEZS) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (JAZZ), all of which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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