With a focus on innovating products that improve patients’ lives, Novo Nordisk India has launched the world’s first and only “peptide in a pill”, oral semaglutide, a gamechanger in diabetes management. Semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor analogue (GLP-1 RA) – one of the drug classes to treat diabetes, till now was available only in the form of injections. This is the first time a GLP-1 RA has been developed in an oral formulation.
Oral semaglutide is a co-formulation of GLP-1RA semaglutide with an absorption enhancer SNAC which protects semaglutide from undergoing degradation in the stomach like other peptides and enhances its absorption. Novo Nordisk invested 15 years of continuous research, innovation, and development to make oral formulation of semaglutide into a reality. Due to this scientific breakthrough, it received the Prix Galien Award in 2020, a prestigious award in the industry, for the best biotech innovation.
It has undergone 10 rigorous Phase 3a clinical trials called PIONEER, across several countries, including India. The completed and ongoing global trials with oral semaglutide include more than 10,000 patients of which more than 1,000 participants are from India. In addition to the unprecedented glycemic control, oral semaglutide demonstrated unsurpassed weight loss and consistent cardiovascular safety in clinical trials. Oral semaglutide has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in 2020. Oral semaglutide, which is indicated for glycaemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes, is expected to be a gamechanger and a life changer in diabetes management.
Speaking at the launch, Vikrant Shrotriya, Corporate Vice President and Managing Director, Novo Nordisk India, said “We believe oral semaglutide has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of type 2 diabetes, given that millions of people do not achieve the targeted blood sugar levels with currently available oral antidiabetic medications. We believe, semaglutide in oral form will transform the management of diabetes – demonstrating our dedication to advancing patient care through continued innovation.”