Major diabetes drug cuts heart attack risk

March 8, 2016

New data from Novo Nordisk will help its Victoza (liraglutide) for type 2 diabetes better compete against Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance (empagliflozin). Victoza significantly reduced the combined incidence of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death in high-risk Type 2 diabetes patients, according to Novo Nordisk

New data from Novo Nordisk will help its Victoza (liraglutide) for type 2 diabetes better compete against Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance (empagliflozin).

Victoza significantly reduced the combined incidence of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death in high-risk type 2 diabetes patients, according to Novo Nordisk. It recently announced the top-line results from the LEADER trial, which investigated the cardiovascular safety of Victoza over a period of up to 5 years in more than 9,000 adults with type 2 diabetes at high risk of major adverse cardiovascular events.

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Novo Nordisk will present the full results at the 76th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in June. 

However, last August, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company said that Jardiance was the only glucose-lowering agent to “have demonstrated CV risk reduction in a dedicated cardiovascular outcomes trial,” according to a statement from Eli Lilly. Detailed results of the study were presented at the 51st European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.

At the same time, LEADER is the largest and longest Novo Nordisk clinical trial to report to date, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk.

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"People with type 2 diabetes generally have a higher risk of experiencing major adverse cardiovascular events. That's why we are very excited about the results from LEADER, which showed that Victoza, in addition to helping people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels, also reduces their risk of major adverse cardiovascular events,” Krogsgaard Thomsen said.

The trial compared the addition of either Victoza or placebo to standard of care and met the primary endpoint of showing non-inferiority as well as demonstrating superiority, with a statistically significant reduction in cardiovascular risk. The primary endpoint of the study was defined as the composite outcome of the first occurrence of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction or non-fatal stroke. 

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