Novo’s weight-loss drug Wegovy reduces risk of heart disease and strokes by 20%, shows study

Novo Nordisk A/S shares reached a new high after eagerly awaited research found that the Danish company’s blockbuster obesity medicine Wegovy lowered the risk of heart attacks and strokes, providing it with yet another potential boost.

Patients with obesity or overweight and a history of cardiovascular problems who took the Novo drug were 20% less likely to suffer a cardio event than those who took a placebo, according to the Danish drugmaker. The drug’s safety in the study was in line with previous trials.

The stock jumped up to 16.7%, which was the biggest intraday rise in two decades.

The results of the trial will almost probably bolster the already high demand for Novo’s medicine and may aid reimbursement discussions with insurers by showing a health benefit other than weight reduction effects. The drugmaker stated that it intends to file for a label expansion in the US and EU this year. At present, many patients cannot afford the medications since they cost more than $10,000 annually in the US.

Novo has been in the spotlight recently when celebrities and popular business executives claimed that they were using its diabetes and obesity drugs, Ozempic and Wegovy, to lose weight. Both medicines are given through injection and contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide.

The company has struggled to keep up with its manufacturing speed, leading Novo to temporarily reduce the supply of several doses in the US. This week, Denmark also reported a shortage of Ozempic.


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