Novo’s insulin get double boost


The CHMP has given a positive opinion to Novo Nordisk’s basal insulin analogue Levemir as an add-on treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The opinion is based on a clinical trial where, as an add-on therapy to Victoza, in combination with metformin, reduced glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) and sustained weight loss were demonstrated.

Alan Moses, Global Chief Medical Officer at Novo Nordisk, says the decision provides an “additional treatment option” for patients who need more options to achieve personalised glucose targets.

Meanwhile, the Committee has also adopted a positive opinion on the extended use of the insulin in children aged between two and five years old with type 1 diabetes.

It reviewed data that showed children treated with Levemir plus a fast-acting insulin analogue experienced a lower rate of all-day and nocturnal hypoglycaemia when compared to those taking human basal insulin and insulin aspart.

Dr Nandu Thalange, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, says that when treating children their safety must always come first and welcomed the CHMP’s decision. “Reducing risk of hypoglycaemia – particularly at night – is a vital part of modern management of young children with diabetes,” said Dr Thalange. “Children under six years are at the highest risk of severe hypoglycaemia and other acute diabetes complications, and any treatment which improves safety – not least in this group – is to be welcomed.”

Novo Nordisk now anticipates that the European Commission will shortly approve the usage of Levemir as an add-on therapy to Victoza in patients with type 2 diabetes and extend the marketing authorisation to make the insulin detemir the only basal insulin analogue for the use in this young patient group with type 1 diabetes.

Levemir, Victoza and NovoRapid, another insulin therapy by Novo Nordisk, contributed to a profit increase of 27% for the company in 2010.