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Novo Nordisk's Wegovy reduces risk of serious heart problems by 20%, study shows

A study showing that Novo Nordisk's Wegovy has the ability to reduce the risk of serious heart problems in some patients by 20% was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Novo Nordisk's weight loss drug Wegovy can reduce the risk of serious heart problems such as heart attack, stroke or death in certain patients by 20%, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, funded by Novo Nordisk, tested the effects of a weekly Wegovy injection in adults who have cardiovascular disease and who are overweight or obese but do not have diabetes. The trial involved more than 17,600 adults who were tracked for over three years.

The results showed that the drug reduced the risk of heart attacks in patients by 28%, stroke by 8% and death from any cause by 19%, lead study author Dr. Michael Lincoff told FOX Business. 

"It's a real game changer for patients because we routinely treat patients for their blood pressure, for their cholesterol and for their diabetes because we know we've had for years… medications to address those problems," lead study author Dr. Michael Lincoff told FOX Business.

ELI LILLY, NOVO NORDISK TEST POPULAR WEIGHT LOSS-RELATED DRUGS ON CHILDREN

Wegovy, the brand name for semaglutide, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021 for chronic weight management in adults who are obese or overweight and have at least one weight-related condition.

The goal of the company's large drug trial was to assess whether Wegovy had another medical benefit aside from helping people shed weight.

This drug "opens up a whole new pathway of therapies as a condition to treat people who have overweight or obesity that will have important outcomes," Lincoff said. 

DIABETES-RELATED WEIGHT-LOSS DRUGS FACING SUPPLY ISSUES AMID VIRAL TREND

In August, the company first announced headline results from the large trial, which showed the drug's potential to help patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease.

The study's findings were similar to an earlier study of Novo Nordisk's Ozempic that showed how the drug reduces the risk of serious heart problems by 26% in people who have diabetes. 

Ozempic has the same active ingredient as Wegovy, semaglutide, but was approved in 2017 and marketed for medical use in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes "with weight loss as a secondary effect of the drug’s effects and mechanism of action." 

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Novo Nordisk filed for a label update of Wegovy in the U.S. and the European Union to include an indication for reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events including cardiovascular death, non-fatal heart attack or non-fatal stroke, in patients with a BMI of at least 27 kg/m2 with an established cardiovascular disease. 

The company expects a decision from federal health regulators in 2024. The FDA has already "granted priority review for the supplemental New Drug Application," according to Novo Nordisk. 

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