Thanks But No Thanks

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On October 29, 2001, Novo Nordisk announced it will continue the development of its dual-acting insulin sensitizer without the involvement of Novartis Pharma. The insulin sensitizer, called NN622, is currently in development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Lars Rebien Sorensen, president and chief executive officer of Novo Nordisk, said: “Our development program for NN622 continues unaffected by Novartis’s decision. Initiation of the phase 3 program is progressing according to schedule. Results from our phase 2 studies confirmed that the profile of NN622 meets the therapeutic objectives we had set. In terms of commercialization of the product in North America we will now be considering various alternatives.”

Novartis, on the other hand, is saying that NN622 failed phase 2 criteria, according to Reuters. Thomas Ebeling, head of the Swiss group’s drugs division, declined to say whether the problem was related to the product’s safety profile.

“We have an ambitious product profile which includes efficacy and safety, and our assessment after having looked at the phase 2 data simply was that this product does not meet that target profile.”

Reuters reports that Novartis’s decision to pull out of plans to commercialize NN622 came less than a week after GlaxoSmithKline stopped development of a similar drug because of adverse side effects.

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