New generation injectable anti-diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide) to control blood is now available in Indian drug stores.
Indian arm of the Danish drug firm Novo Nordisk announced the launch of injectable Victoza for treatment of diabetes in India.
Victoza is given as injection once daily for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus whose sugar levels cannot be controlled despite maximum dose of other first line drugs including metformin or sulphonylurea.
Besides cutting down excessive glucose levels in type 2 diabetes patients Victoza (liraglutide) also helps to reduce overweight in obese people studies have found.
90 per cent of diabetic population in India suffers from type 2 diabetes.
Victoza (liraglutide) cannot be taken as a first line therapy but only as add on therapy for diabetes treatment along with other pills used to control blood sugar and diet and lifestyle changes, according to endocrinologists.
Victoza is priced at Rs 4300 for an 18 milligram pack in India. The price of Victoza injection is much higher than other available anti-diabetes diabetes pills in the Indian market such as Januvia, Byetta etc.
Liraglutide (Victoza) and sitagliptin (Januvia) are both incretin-based diabetes therapies.
Victoza is claimed to be the first once daily human GLP-1 analogue that mimics the activity of the naturally-occurring hormone, GLP-1, while Merck’s sitaglipin (Januvia), a DPP-4 inhibitor, blocks the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of GLP-1 and other substances.
Victoza injection has been found more effective in controlling blood glucose levels and safer than Merck Inc’s anti-diabetic oral pill sitagliptin (Januvia) in clinical studies.
Liraglutide (Victoza) was superior to sitagliptin (Januvia) for reduction of HbA1c, and was well tolerated with minimum risk of hypoglycaemia, according to a Novo Nordisk funded study published in the leading medical journal Lancet. HbA1c is a standard blood measure that is indicative of a patient’s glucose levels.
In another Novo Nordisk study conducted in October 2009 involving 564 people found just five months of Victoza injections helped them lose 4.8 kilograms (10.6 pounds) to 7.2 kilograms of body weight, compared with 4.1 kilograms for those on exenatide (Byetta) and 2.8 kilograms for those given placebo.
Liraglutide (Victoza) could help overweight patients to lose their excess weight by at least 10 pounds besides reducing the incidence of hypoglycaemia comapred with another anti obesity medication exenatide (Byetta) from Eli Lilly, a Novo Nordisk study found.
Novo Nordisk study found just five months of Liraglutide (Victoza) injections helped them lose 4.8 kilograms (10.6 pounds) to 7.2 kilograms of body weight, compared with 4.1 kilograms for those on exenatide (Byetta) and 2.8 kilograms for those given placebo.
Victoza has already been launched in other leading markets including the US and Europe.
Concerns are raised against Victoza’s impact on cardiovascular system by leading drug regulators like US FDA.
Novo Nordisk is currently conducting a 5 year clinical study in diabetes patients to evaluate the possible side-effects of Victoza. India is also a part of the Victoza global study which involves around 9,000 patients.