Novo Nordisk Says Wegovy May Cut Risk of Cardiovascular deaths by 20 %

Novo Nordisk, maker of the wildly popular Wegovey, says the weight loss injection can cut risks of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent. This study is the first to show that obesity drugs can bring heart health to those who do not have diabetes. It may also add another spike of popularity to a drug that skyrocketed after others like Ozempic were used off-label for weight loss.

Novo Nordisk studied Wegovy against placebo in addition to standard of care for prevention of major adverse cardiac events in 17,604 adults with heart disease and obesity or who were overweight, but who didn’t have diabetes. It called the five-year trial “Select.”

The finding of a 20% reduction in heart risk is higher than many experts had anticipated. A similar trial for the type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic, which uses the same ingredient, semaglutide, previously showed it could reduce cardiovascular risk by 26% — but no trial had yet shown a risk reduction in people without diabetes.

Novo Nordisk’s executive vice president for development, Martin Holst Lange, said in the news release that the trial “has demonstrated that semaglutide 2.4mg has the potential to change how obesity is regarded and treated.”

The findings, once peer-reviewed and published in a medical journal, may encourage more doctors to prescribe the wildly popular weight loss drug, but could also potentially help improve insurance coverage.

Novo Nordisk said Wegovy appeared to have a “safe and well-tolerated profile” in the study, in line with what it has seen in previous trials.

The company said it will submit applications with regulators to add the cardiovascular benefits to the drug’s prescribing information, and said it will present detailed results from the trial at a scientific conference later this year.

Additional reading:

Wegovy shown to reduce risk of heart attack, stroke in major cardiovascular trial

Wegovy shown to cut risk of stroke and heart attacks, company says