Novo hatches blockbuster plans for 'me-slightly better' insulin

In the drug development world, me-too drugs are out. But Novo Nordisk has blockbuster hopes for its experimental next-gen insulin degludec, a "me-slightly better" treatment for diabetics, in the eyes of analyst Dominic Valder.

Bloomberg today analyzes the case that Novo is building for degludec as it positions the treatment to go toe-to-toe with Sanofi's $4.8 billion earner Lantus. This new insulin--which is slated for a regulatory filing later in the year--comes with an easier dispensing device and allows diabetics a flexible dosing schedule. And Novo plans to highlight the data that demonstrates degludec significantly lowers the risk of night-time hypoglycemia, when blood sugar levels plunge dangerously low as patients sleep.

Novo's Chief Science Officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen tells the news service that the key to a successful rollout will be to get first-time insulin users to choose degludec. Once they become loyal to the insulin, he says, they won't lightly consider switching. And that could make degludec a big winner for Novo, as the number of new diabetics continues to grow at a rapid pace.

- here's the story from Bloomberg