Novo exec welcomes the Bristol-AZ diabetes blitz

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and AstraZeneca ($AZN) dispatching legions of sales reps to tout Byetta and Bydureon? Bring it on, says Novo Nordisk's ($NVO) Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen. The Danish company's chief scientific officer told Bloomberg that more talk about that class of diabetes drugs will help Novo, too.

"Bristol-Myers and AstraZeneca will go out and talk about GLP-1s," Thomsen told the news service. "That's good for everyone, including Novo Nordisk."

Novo's Victoza, along with Byetta and Bydureon, are GLP-1 analogues, a group of drugs designed to stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. Till now, Victoza has been up against Byetta and Bydureon as marketed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and partner Eli Lilly ($LLY). But with Bristol-Myers snapping up Amylin and teaming up with AstraZeneca to rep the two drugs, a major promotional push is coming.

Thomsen pooh-poohs the threat. Victoza is a once-daily drug, while Byetta is administered twice a day, he points out. Bydureon is once-weekly, but Thomsen says it's complicated to dose. "Byetta and Bydureon, they are what they are, the change in ownership won't change much," he said.

- read the Bloomberg analysis