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81% rise in Victoza sales drives Novo Nordisk earnings

Daily News | April 27, 2012

Kevin Grogan

81% rise in Victoza sales drives Novo Nordisk earnings

Novo Nordisk has posted another healthy set of figures for the first quarter, helped by strong sales of diabetes drug Victoza and its modern insulins.

Net profit climbed 15% to 4.66 billion Danish kroner (about $827.4 million), while sales were up 13% to 17.75 billion kroner. The firm's stable of modern insulin products, including Levemir (insulin detemir) and NovoRapid (insulin aspart) contributed 7.86 billion kroner, an increase of 17%.

Human insulins were up 2% to 2.72 billion kroner, while oral antidiabetic products, notably NovoNorm/Prandin (repaglinide), edged up 1% to 716 million kroner. As for Victoza (liraglutide), sales of Novo’s once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue reached 1.99 billion kroner, up 81%.

The Danish company said Victoza had 62% value market share in the GLP-1 segment in November 2011 compared to 39% a year earlier. Novo says this is impressive especially since Amylin's rival Bydureon (extended-release exenatide) has now been approved.

As for Novo's biopharmaceuticals business, NovoSeven (recombinant Factor VIIa) was down 6% to 1.90 billion kroner, while the growth hormone Norditropin increased 8% to 1.35 billion kroner.

The firm has raised its sales growth forecast for 2012 to 8%-11% from 7%-11% in local currencies, despite "continued intense competition", generics of its oral antidiabetic products and the impact from the implementation of healthcare reforms primarily in the USA and Europe.

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