Novo Nordisk has posted yet another strong set of figures, helped by strong sales of its diabetes drug Victoza.

Second-quarter net profit climbed 26% to 6.73 billion Danish kroner (about $1.20 billion), while sales were up 10% to 21.38 billion kroner. The firm's stable of modern insulin products, including Levemir (insulin detemir) and NovoRapid (insulin aspart) contributed 9.63 billion kroner, an increase of 12%.

Human insulins were flat at 2.78 billion kroner, while oral antidiabetic products, notably NovoNorm/Prandin (repaglinide), rose 4% to 681 million kroner. As for Victoza (liraglutide), sales of Novo’s once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue reached 2.88 billion kroner, up 25%. The Danish company said Victoza now has a 69% market share in the GLP-1 segment, compared to 64% in May 2012.

Among the major products in Novo's biopharmaceuticals business, sales of which climbed 6% to 4.77 billion kroner, NovoSeven (recombinant Factor VIIa) was up 4% to 2.54 billion kroner, while the growth hormone Norditropin increased 3% to 1.48 billion kroner.

Tresiba (insulin degludec), Novo's new-generation, long-acting insulin, has been launched in the UK, Denmark and Japan, as well as in Mexico and Switzerland. Novo says "launch activities are progressing as planned and feedback from patients and prescribers is encouraging".

Things are more complicated across the pond given that Novo received a complete response letter from the US Food and Drug Administration for Tresiba and Ryzodeg (insulin degludec/insulin aspart) in February. Chief executive Lars Rebien Sorensen said that based on the feedback from the FDA regarding the design of a requested cardiovascular outcomes study for Tresiba, "we now expect to start the trial before the end of the year".

He was pleased with the results and Novo has raised its sales and earnings forecasts for the full year.