Novo Nordisk Takes on One of the World’s Biggest Markets: Obesity


Novo Nordisk, the Danish global healthcare company, received the all clear a few month ago from the US, EU and Canada to launch and sell a new treatment for Weight Management, Saxenda. The company announced the launch of Saxenda in the US, who present the treatment as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or who are overweight.

Obesity is a disease that requires chronic management. It is associated with serious comorbidities including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and a decreased life expectancy. Obesity is a complex and multifactorial disease that is influenced by genetic, physiological, environmental and psychological factors. The global increase of the prevalence of obesity is a public health issue that has severe cost implications to healthcare systems, not only in the US , but worldwide. In 2011-2012 in the US, approximately 35% of adults, or nearly 80 million adults, lived with this desease.

Saxenda is a once-daily-intake glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue with 97% similarity to naturally occurring human GLP-1,13 a hormone that is released in response to food consumption. Like human GLP-1, Saxenda regulates appetite and lowers body weight by reducing food intake. As with other GLP-1 receptor agonists, liraglutide stimulates insulin secretion and reduces glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner. Trial data showed that Saxenda, in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, resulted in greater weight loss than reduced calorie diets and physical activity alone for people who have obesity (BMI >=30 kg/m2) or who are overweight (BMI >=27 kg/m2) with weight-related comorbidities.

Executive Vice President Jakob Riis, Marketing, Medical Affairs & Stakeholder Engagement of Novo Nordisk explained: “The launch of Saxenda is an important milestone in Novo Nordisk’s long-term commitment to obesity treatment and we look forward to launching Saxenda in other countries later in 2015.”

Explore other topics: DenmarkNovo NordiskObesity

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