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Research backs Wegovy use to chop coronary heart assaults and strokes


Nov 11, 2023


Novo Nordisk A/S unveiled particulars from a carefully watched examine that help use of Wegovy, its blockbuster weight-loss drug, to chop coronary heart assaults and strokes in weight problems sufferers with a historical past of heart problems.

Folks taking the very best dose of Wegovy noticed a drop in blood sugar ranges and irritation — two harbingers of coronary heart illness — that assist clarify the 20% discount in cardiovascular occasions that Novo reported in August. Whereas not one of the sufferers had diabetes, two-thirds began the examine with blood sugar ranges within the prediabetic vary, which is related to the next danger of coronary heart illness and dying. Sufferers additionally noticed important reductions in blood strain.

Three-quarters of sufferers had suffered coronary heart assaults earlier than the examine started and 1 / 4 had coronary heart failure. On this extremely susceptible inhabitants, the outcomes assist cement the argument for utilizing Novo’s drug as a coronary heart remedy alongside statins and blood strain therapies. Sufferers on Wegovy additionally misplaced weight within the trial.

The outcomes, offered on Saturday on the American Coronary heart Affiliation’s annual convention in Philadelphia, are “game-changing,” Eugene Yang, the chair of the American Faculty of Cardiology’s prevention part, mentioned in an interview. The room on the metropolis’s Conference Heart erupted into a number of rounds of applause when the info have been offered.

Coronary heart illness is the primary killer within the US and accounts for a couple of third of deaths globally. Whereas weight problems is thought to lift the danger for such illnesses, Novo’s trial was designed to point out whether or not Wegovy might beat back future coronary heart assaults and strokes in individuals with established heart problems.

Novo mentioned it can search expanded US approval for decreasing danger of main hostile cardiovascular occasions in adults with a physique mass index, or BMI, of 27 or larger and established heart problems.

Learn Extra: All In regards to the New Weight problems Medicine Inflicting a Large Stir

“More and more, physicians are understanding that this isn’t nearly weight and look,” Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, Novo’s chief govt officer, mentioned in an interview on Friday earlier than the main points have been launched. “It’s about actual well being advantages.”

Weight-loss medicine equivalent to Wegovy, which elevated gross sales greater than 700% final quarter, have turn into a phenomenon this 12 months. Celebrities are touting their advantages, whereas traders handicap how a lot they may disrupt a large swath of sectors that features attire firms, eating places and packaged meals producers. Novo is already struggling to maintain up with demand. And competitors is growing with Eli Lilly & Co. simply receiving approval for its weight-loss drug, Zepbound.

Nonetheless, the medicine are costly. Zepbound will value about $1,050 for a month’s provide, which is cheaper than Wegovy’s month-to-month record worth of roughly $1,350. The price is a barrier to widespread entry, Yang mentioned. Primarily based on the trial outcomes, to stop one coronary heart assault or cardiovascular dying, 67 individuals will have to be handled with Wegovy for nearly three years and 4 months, in keeping with a Bloomberg evaluation. At record costs, this might value $3.8 million.

Together with decreasing weight, blood sugar management and anti inflammatory results are possible what’s driving the profit for coronary heart illness proven within the examine, Martin Holst Lange, Novo’s growth chief, mentioned in an interview. Within the trial of greater than 17,600 chubby and overweight adults who have been 45 and older, taking Wegovy lowered physique weight by a mean of 9.4% over two years, in comparison with a lower than 1% loss within the placebo group. The remedy group additionally noticed decreased weight circumference and blood strain that’s typically related to shedding kilos.

On the similar time, blood sugar fell right into a wholesome vary in two-thirds of these handled. That was sufficient to beat back diabetes in about 70% of sufferers. C-reactive protein, a liver product that’s linked to irritation, fell about 40% amongst these taking Wegovy.

Solely 28% of the sufferers within the trial have been girls and simply 4% have been Black, that means the outcomes might not translate to these populations, in keeping with the ACC’s Yang. About 17% of the sufferers within the trial stopped taking Wegovy as a result of uncomfortable side effects. The commonest trigger was gastrointestinal points, which have been chargeable for a lot of the discontinuations.

— With help from Robert Langreth

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