Novo Nordisk launches Victoza in UK

Novo Nordisk’s Victoza is now available for type 2 diabetes patients in the UK, following EU approval.

Victoza is the first once-daily human Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue which regulates blood sugar in a glucose-dependent manner. It is also the only human GLP-1 analogue with 97% homology to natural human GLP-1 peptide.

An important advance is diabetes treatment, Victoza helps patients maintain normal blood sugar levels with a once-daily injection that can be taken at any time of day, irrespective of meals.

“Our goal for the development of Victoza was to find the best way to help people with type 2 diabetes maintain control over their glucose levels in a manageable way with reduced risk of hypoglycaemia,” said Viggo Birch, Managing Director of Novo Nordisk UK and Ireland.

Victoza stimulates the release of insulin only when glucose levels become too high, so there is reduced risk of blood sugar becoming too low (hypoglycaemia).

It can also help patients achieve weight loss, by increasing satiety and delaying gastric empting, and thus reducing caloric intake. This is significant as weight gain is a side effect of some common treatments for type 2 diabetes, thus increasing the risk of obesity-related illnesses.

Studies have also shown that two further added benefits are a reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP)1 and improved beta-cell function, allowing for increased insulin secretion.

“This is an important advance for patients with type 2 diabetes, many of whom are already overweight,” said Professor Anthony Barnett, Clinical Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Heart of England Foundation Trust. “Additionally, the once-daily formula, independent of meals, should improve patient compliance and in turn clinical outcomes.”