Novo's Victoza drains new scrips from rivals

Watch out, diabetes drugmakers--Victoza is on a roll. The Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) drug has been racking up market-share gains in the U.S., nabbing 26 percent of the market in GLP-1 drugs since its February launch. Some 33.9 percent of new GLP scrips are going to Victoza, Reuters reports, quoting the Danish newspaper Borsen.

And that means that Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY) rival GLP product, Byetta, is slipping a bit, analysts say. "Byetta has lost shares of new prescriptions at a faster pace than in the number of total prescriptions which indicates that more doctors are giving new patients Victoza instead of Byetta," Citigroup analyst Yaron Werber tells Borsen.

That strong performance has analysts predicting Victoza will reach blockbuster status within two or three years, rather than the five years Novo had estimated.

Novo wouldn't comment on the sales figures; its own numbers are due along with first-half financials Aug. 5. But spokesman Mike Rulis tells Reuters, "It is no secret that we are gaining share in that market at the expense of Byetta, and we believe that over time the GLP-1 segment will grow."

- see the Reuters story