Novo to restart obesity research on Victoza

Now that Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) has Victoza on the market for diabetes, the company is going back to the drawing board for an obesity indication. The company had stopped its obesity research on the drug last year pending its approval for diabetes. It now plans to re-initiate obesity trials in the first half of next year, with studies covering about 5,000 patients.

"We wanted clarity on the type-2 diabetes indication before we continued to develop the drug for obesity," CFO Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen tells Reuters. "Now we have an approval, a nice label, and the product is doing very well in the market."

The aim is to make Victoza (liraglutide) into a true obesity drug rather than a weight-loss pill for people who are dieting, Thomsen explains. The drug won't be "a general slimming agent" but a remedy for "medical obesity," i.e., very obese patients or those who are obese and have pre-diabetes or other metabolic issues.

- see the Novo release
- get more from Reuters