LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) - An experimental diabetes pill from Novo Nordisk proved better at lowering blood sugar levels than Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim's established Jardiance in a clinical study, the Danish drugmaker said on Tuesday.
The success of oral semaglutide in the Phase III trial is a boost for a medicine seen as important for ensuring the group's long-term growth in a highly competitive diabetes market.
The once-daily pill, which Novo hopes to launch in 2020, belongs to a blockbuster class of treatments known as GLP-1s that stimulate insulin production. So far, all have been injections and a pill would offer a step-change in convenience.
Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief science officer, said the positive results from the so-called PIONEER 2 trial were "an important milestone" in the clinical development of oral semaglutide.
Reporting by Ben Hirschler Editing by Mark Heinrich