May 29, 2018 / 4:59 PM / 10 months ago

Novo Nordisk's oral diabetes drug beats Jardiance in study

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

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