June 22, 2024


A box of Ozempic made by Novo Nordisk is seen at a pharmacy

Chronic kidney disease affects an estimated 37 million Americans or about one in seven adults, according to the National Institute of Health.
Image: Hollie Adams (Reuters)

Novo Nordisk’s blockbuster diabetes drug Ozempic, known for its weight-loss side effects, can also help patients living chronic kidney disease, per a study funded by the pharmaceutical company.

A weekly, one-milligram injection of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and the weight loss drug Wegovy, was found to reduce the combined risk of major kidney complications (including kidney failure), cardiovascular events, and even death from any cause by 24% in patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease, according to a study published Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“These benefits reflect important clinical effects on kidney, cardiovascular, and survival outcomes among high-risk patients, particularly given the reassuring safety findings, and support a therapeutic role for semaglutide in this population,” the study’s authors said in a statement.

The results come from a late-stage clinical trial that Novo Nordisk ended early last October, after an independent monitoring committee determined that Ozempic’s efficacy in treating chronic kidney disease was clear. The trial followed 3,533 people with kidney disease and type 2 diabetes over 3.4 years— half of whom took semaglutide while the other half was given a placebo.

Novo Nordisk will ask the U.S Food and Drug Administration to expand Ozempic’s label to include the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

The disease affects an estimated 37 million Americans or about one in seven adults, according to the National Institute of Health.

The news comes just months after the FDA expanded the approved use of Wegovy on March 8, months after its maker Novo Nordisk announced results from a different clinical trial that found the drug cut the risk of serious heart events by 20%.



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