Diabetes drug Victoza gets off to a flying start in US  

After just 6 weeks, Novo Nordisk's new type 2 diabetes drug Victoza has grabbed 16% of new prescriptions for GLP-1 analog medications on the US market

Victoza, the new type 2 diabetes treatment from Danish medico concern Novo Nordisk, has got off to a stellar start in the US, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen. After six weeks on the market, the once-daily drug has already grabbed 16% of new prescriptions for GLP-1 analog medications, corresponding to a 6% market share.


The sharp upward tilt of the sales curve has prompted analysts to review their expectations of Victoza on the US market, which were hitherto cautious in their optimism. Børsen writes that US investment bank Jefferies  has practically doubled its earlier forecast of Victoza sales in 2014 from USD 1.7bn to USD 3.3bn.


Bank analyst Jeffrey Holford commented in a new report on Novo Nordisk: "Our market check indicates an exceptionally good reception of the Victoza pen, especially in relation to the flexible dosing for patients. The market share after six weeks is beginning to replicate experience from the German market, where Victoza took more than half of the market in less than two quarters.


It should be noted that it is very much in Novo Nordisk's interest to make rapid gains on the US GLP-1 market. The only competitor right now is Ely Lilly's twice-daily Byetta, which has had the market to itself since 2005. Lilly is preparing to respond to the once-daily Danish competitor with a weekly version of their drug, called Bydureon, due for launch later this summer. And in 2012, a number of other competitors are expected to enter the GLP-1 market.


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