BAGSVAERD, Denmark Novo Nordisk has started an early-stage clinical trial in the United Kingdom of an investigational drug for treating diabetes, the Danish drug maker announced Wednesday.
Under the terms of an agreement with Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based drug maker Emisphere Technologies, it made a $2 million milestone payment for the phase 1 trial of NN9924, which was developed using Emisphere’s Eligen drug-development platform. Novo Nordisk expects to report results from the 155-patient trial in 2011.
The drug is a pill-based GLP-1 analog, belonging to the same class as Novo Nordisk’s Victoza (liraglutide). GLP-1 is a natural hormone that controls blood sugar levels by stimulating the release of insulin only when blood sugar levels become too high. People with Type 2 diabetes often have an impaired ability to produce the hormone.
“We still have a long road with many challenges ahead of us before a GLP-1 pill becomes a reality,” Novo Nordisk SVP and head of diabetes research Peter Kurtzhals said in a statement. “But with the progress we have made so far, I am convinced it is only a matter of time before we make it.”