NEW DELHI: Drug firm Novo Nordisk India on Thursday said it has launched a first of its kind diabetes treatment medication in the country. The company said it has introduced the world's first and only oral semaglutide, a game-changer in diabetes management.
Semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor analogue (GLP-1 RA) - one of the drug classes to treat diabetes, till now was available only in the form of injections and this is the first time such medication has been developed in an oral form.
"With a strong clinical profile, we believe, it has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of type 2 diabetes, given that millions of people do not achieve the targeted blood sugar levels with currently available oral antidiabetic medications," Novo Nordisk India Managing Director Vikrant Shrotriya noted.
The product's launch coincides with the company's hundred-year centenary of insulin discovery that changed the lives of people with diabetes, he added.
Oral semaglutide is a co-formulation of GLP-1RA semaglutide with an absorption enhancer SNAC, which protects semaglutide from undergoing degradation in the stomach like other peptides and enhances its absorption.
ALSO READ | Diabetes and pregnancy
Novo Nordisk noted that it has invested 15 years of continuous research, innovation, and development to make the oral formulation of semaglutide a reality. The product has undergone 10 rigorous Phase 3 clinical trials across several countries, including India, it added.
The completed and ongoing global trials with oral semaglutide includes more than 10,000 patients of which more than 1,000 participants are from India, the company said. In addition to the unprecedented glycemic control, oral semaglutide demonstrated unsurpassed weight loss and consistent cardiovascular safety in clinical trials, it added.
Oral semaglutide has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in 2020. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company. The company employs about 47,000 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries.