LONDON, 2 Nov (APM) - Novo Nordisk said it would welcome possible competition from Eli Lilly to its once-weekly GLP-1 drug Ozempic (semaglutide), although it believes this is still some years away.
The Danish group's chief executive Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said on Thursday in a conference call with analysts that he is not afraid of competition to Ozempic, which was approved in Europe in February and launched in the U.S. that month (APMHE 56822
Eli Lilly, one of Novo Nordisk’s competitors, has revealed promising results in Phase IIb for its diabetes drug, LY3298176. The drug, which is a dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist was shown to help people with type 2 diabetes to reduce blood sugar and lose weight. With this clinical result, it could become a direct competitor to Ozempic.
Lilly’s LY3298176 has been studied in a sample of 300 patients, whereas Ozempic has been trialled in more than 8,800 patients in Phase III. Lilly expects to complete Phase III in late 2021.
After announcing third-quarter results (APMHE 60391
), Jorgensen said: "I think what drives the value of the segment is continued innovation and we have seen that until now that for each and every time we have seen a new launch of efficacious GLP-1 agent, we have seen a larger market growth. We are seeing that now with our launch of Ozempic as well.
"So looking ahead, I welcome that Lilly also make a bet on innovation. There’s still some time to go before they can enter the market. And in that period, we have ample of time to establish Ozempic as a new golden standard and we have an opportunity to hopefully also [have] launched all semaglutide."
He added: "The overall value of the market will be benefiting from two companies competing with similar tactics and say the short to medium-term tactics is still in favour of Nordisk," according to Seeking Alpha's transcript of the call. "And then we are quite confident that we can also, in terms of our next-generation product, do something that’s competitive vis-a-vis Lilly."
Novo welcomes continued competition, he continued, noting "it's good for the patients, it’s good for the market and we are confident in both the short, medium and long-term competitiveness of Novo Nordisk in this".