Novo Nordisk has posted a reasonable set of figures, helped by strong (though lower-than-expected) sales of its diabetes drug Victoza.__Third-quarter net profit climbed 13% to 6.42 billion Danish kroner (about $1.18 billion), while sales were up 3% to 20.51 billion kroner. The firm's stable of modern insulin products, including Levemir (insulin detemir) and NovoRapid (insulin aspart) contributed 9.39 billion kroner, an increase of 6%._

Human insulins were down 8% at 2.57 billion kroner, while oral antidiabetic products, notably NovoNorm/Prandin (repaglinide), sank 30% as a result to generic competition in the USA for the latter, to 504 million kroner. As for Victoza (liraglutide), sales of Novo’s once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue reached 2.85 billion kroner, up 14% but lower than analysts were anticipating. The Danish company said Victoza now has a 70% market share in the GLP-1 segment.

Tresiba (insulin degludec), Novo's new-generation, long-acting insulin, has now been launched in seven markets "and feedback from patients and prescribers is encouraging". The drug is selling well in Japan but in the UK and Denmark, where Tresiba has been launched with restricted market access, "penetration remains limited".

Novo received a complete response letter from the US Food and Drug Administration for Tresiba and Ryzodeg (insulin degludec/insulin aspart) in February and the agency demanded a cardiovascular outcomes study for the former which began enrolling earlier this month.

Among the major products in Novo's biopharmaceuticals business, sales of which climbed 5% to 4.53 billion kroner, NovoSeven (recombinant Factor VIIa) was up 13% to 2.43 billion kroner, while the growth hormone Norditropin dipped 1% to 1.44 billion kroner.