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 New Novo Nordisk diabetes drugs gain EC approval

New Novo Nordisk diabetes drugs gain EC approval

Publish date: 2013-01-24

Novo Nordisk drugs for the treatment of diabetes in adults - Tresiba® (insulin degludec) and Ryzodeg® (insulin degludec/insulin aspart), has been granted European Commission’s approval across all EU member states.

Tags: medicine , pharma , europe

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by either pancreas inability to produce enough insulin (type 1) or due to lack of cells respond to the produced insulin (type 2). Untreated it may cause hyperglycaemia, which over time leads to serious damage of  body’s systems, especially the blood vessels and nerves. With about 60 mln people suffering from it just in Europe region, diabetes is concerned as one of the diseases of affluence.

How to treat it?

One of the way of diabetes treatment is by lowering the glucose level in blood. Currently, the long-acting basal insulin segment of the diabetes drug market is dominated by Lantus (insulin glargine) from Sanofi with market share estimated at 80%.

How Novo Nordisc diabetes drugs are better?

According to the information received from Katrine Rud von Sperling - Director of Media Relations Corporate Communications of Novo Nordisc:

“Tresiba® is the first basal insulin that has demonstrated a duration of action beyond 42 hours, allowing for flexibility in day-to-day dosing time when needed. The ‘treat-to-target’ studies, referred to in the label, demonstrate that Tresiba® successfully reduces blood glucose levels with a lower risk of night-time hypoglycaemia versus insulin glargine. Also, Tresiba® is the only insulin enabling doses up to 160 units in a single injection. Finally, it is available in FlexTouch®, the prefilled insulin pen with an easy touch button. Based on the significant clinical benefits and innovation that Tresiba  provides, we expect it to have a moderately higher price than older insulin products.”

Does it promote cancer?

In 2009, there was a loud discussion about Lantus (insulin glargine)doubling the risk of developing cancer raised by Swedish study. However, later investigation found no conclusive danger connecter to it.  According to the novo Nordisc:

“Tresiba has been engineered to have a lower affinity for the IGF-1 receptor compared to human insulin and therefore does not promote cell proliferation to a greater degree than human insulin. In vitro data shows that the mitogenic potential of Tresiba is equal to, or less than, that of human insulin.”

When the new drugs are expected to be launched?

Tresiba is expected to be introduce to the market first in Denmark and the U.K. in the first half of 2013, an in the rest EU member states markets later on. Ryzodeg is planned to be market after Tresiba brings first sales.


Will Tresiba and Ryzodeg revolutionize the market of diabetes drugs is not sure yet. However, every effort put in the development of new diabetes medicine is a mile-stone in efficient treatment.


Editor: Jacek Plewka


Hemkens L.G., Grouven U., Bender R., Günster C., Gutschmidt S., Selke G.W., Sawicki P.T. (2009) Risk of malignancies in patients with diabetes treated with human insulin or insulin analogues: a short study. Diabetologia 52(9):1732–1744

Additional comment received from Katrine Rud von Sperling - Director of Media Relations Corporate Communications of Novo Nordisk


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