FDA approves label update for Novo diabetes drug

Jan. 13, 2023

Danish biopharma Novo Nordisk announced this week that the FDA had approved its diabetes drug, Rybelsus, as a first-in-line treatment for adults living with type 2 diabetes who have not previously taken a diabetes treatment.

When it was first approved in 2019, the drug was limited to patients who had already received an initial treatment without success. Now, the drug is approved as initial therapy, making it the first glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog in pill form that is indicated to improve glycemic control in diabetes patients. 

The drug works in three ways, it increases the release of insulin from the pancreas when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, it decreases the release of sugar from the liver, and at the same time slows the process of food leaving the stomach after leaving. The drugs formulation includes a semaglutide and an absorption enhancer which help facilitate its absorption in the stomach.

Semaglutide is in a class of medications called incretin mimetic which help the pancreas to release the appropriate amount of insulin when blood sugar levels are abnormal.