Danish medico giant Novo Nordisk, the world leading company in the diabetes care sector, has announced in a press release that it has initiated its first phase 1 clinical trial with an oral insulin analogue, codenamed NN1952. This has triggered a USD 2 million milestone payment to US company Merrion Pharmaceuticals plc, whose technology is used in the formulation of the analogue.
The phase 1 trial will be conducted in healthy volunteers and people with type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes and is designed to investigate the safety, tolerance and effect of NN1952. The trial will involve 80 people and results are expected to be reported in H1 2011.
“We still have many challenges to overcome, and it is far too early to say whether or when oral insulin will become an alternative to insulin injections,” says Peter Kurtzhals, head of diabetes research at Novo Nordisk, in the press release. “However, I am encouraged by the progress our research and development teams have made during the past two years, and which has led us to this important milestone.”
Merrion entered an agreement with Novo Nordisk in 2008 to develop and commercialise oral formulations of Novo Nordisk's proprietary insulin analogues, using Merrion's Gastrointestinal Permeation Enhancement Technology (GIPET). This is the first development milestone achieved by Merrion under this agreement.
Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is world leader in diabetes care. The company employs more than 29,000 people in 81 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk’s B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London.