Germany's tough price negotiators went too far for Novo Nordisk. The Danish drugmaker is pulling its new diabetes drug Tresiba off the market after authorities said they'd price the long-acting basal insulin on par with old human insulin injections.
The top 10 companies producing diabetes meds raked in about $62 billion in global sales in 2014, up 5.1% from the previous year, according to a report from data analytics firm GlobalData. Companies such as Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Merck lead the pack, posting solid gains for their products as they compete for a piece of a rapidly growing market.
A study found that tablets increase compliance among postmenopausal women suffering from vaginal atrophy when compared to cream. Almost 90% of patients who took the cream stopped using it after the first prescription, compared to 58% of patients who were on Novo Nordisk's Vagifem 10 milligram estradiol tablets.
Back in 2013, Sanofi pulled its FDA application for GLP-1 diabetes fighter Lyxumia (lixisenatide), deciding to wait till a cardiovascular outcomes trial could prove its new drug was safe. Now, the details of that trial are available--and Lyxumia passed the safety test, researchers say.
Novo Nordisk's next big thing in diabetes beat out the world's top-selling insulin in a late-stage trial, stoking blockbuster hopes for the combination treatment. But a previous regulatory setback will keep the cocktail off of U.S. shelves until next year at the earliest.
More than two years ago, Novo Nordisk teamed with diabetes advocate and professional cyclist Phil Southerland to create Team Novo Nordisk, the first pro cycling team made entirely of athletes with diabetes. The 18-member team pedals into Philadelphia this week as part of the International Cycling Union Professional Continental Tour, but its mission has grown far beyond competition.
Novo Nordisk, gradually exiting the world of autoimmune R&D, has found a home for one of its former projects, handing a development program over to Johnson & Johnson for an undisclosed sum.
Baxter said back in March that Novo Nordisk's recently launched hemophilia med infringed some of its patents, spurring an investigation from the U.S. International Trade Commission. But the Danish drugmaker doesn't see what all the fuss is about.
The commercial potential of NASH, a common liver disease with no approved treatments, has seemingly launched a thousand R&D ships around the industry. And Novo Nordisk, emboldened by an investigator-sponsored study, might be sitting on an effective therapy for the pervasive ailment with liraglutide, a blockbuster already approved for diabetes and obesity.
Which diabetes med is likely to be on top in 2020? According to FirstWord Pharma, that would be--surprise!--Lantus, albeit as a $5 billion shadow of its former self. Januvia should keep its hold on second prize with almost $4 billion, while Novo Nordisk's NovoRapid and Lilly's Humalog remain in the top 5 with $3.6 billion and $3.04 billion in sales.