FDA approved expanded use of Novo Nordisk diabetes drug to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events

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Novo Nordisk said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an expanded use of its diabetes drug to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

This is the first time the FDA has cleared a diabetes drug for reducing risks of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular deaths in patients with type 2 diabetes, the company said in a statement, reports Reuters.

In December, the FDA had approved Eli Lilly and Co and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc’s drug, Jardiance, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Novo Nordisk’s Victoza, which was approved in 2010 to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, brought in 11.5 billion Danish crowns ($1.84 billion) in the first six months of 2017. Type 2 diabetes, closely linked to obesity, accounts for more than 90 percent of all diabetes cases, the company said.

Victoza’s expanded label follows a successful trial that showed the drug significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, nonfatal heart attack or non-fatal stroke by 13 percent when compared to a placebo.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 610,000 people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Adults with type 2 diabetes are up to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, the company said. U.S.-listed shares of Novo Nordisk were up 1.2 percent at $46.15 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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