Novo Nordisk has announced that its oral semaglutide improved glycaemic control in people with type II diabetes across baseline HbA1c levels in the PIONEER trials.

Further, the trial showed that greater reductions in HbA1c were demonstrated with 7mg and 14mg of oral semaglutide, compared to all comparators including placebo, Boehringer’s Jardiance (empagliflozin 25 mg), MSD’s Januvia (sitagliptin 100 mg) and the company’s own Victoza (liraglutide 1.8 mg).

The drug, an investigational once-daily glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue in a pill, also showed a safety profile consistent with that of the GLP-1 receptor agonist class, and similar to those seen with subcutaneous semaglutide.

The analysis "reinforces the findings seen throughout the PIONEER trial programme, demonstrating oral semaglutide’s efficacy in HbA1c reductions compared to commonly used type II diabetes treatments,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk.

He continued, “If approved, oral semaglutide will become the first and only oral GLP-1 receptor agonist with the potential to help people with uncontrolled type II diabetes better manage their condition.”

Data from NHS Digital shows that 33% of people living with type II diabetes do not meet their blood glucose target of ≤7.5%, and that nine out of ten are overweight or obese.

The condition costs the NHS £8.8 billion a year, with 80% of that used to treat avoidable complications.