Company News: Novo Nordisk, MedPage Today and American Academy of Family Physicians

The FDA approved Novo Nordisk's Victoza (liraglutide) for Type 2 diabetes, potentially setting the stage for a future shootout between rival long-acting drugs. Novo Nordisk said it plans to launch Victoza, a once-weekly drug, in four to six weeks. Meanwhile, Amylin and Eli Lilly have applied for approval of their own once-weekly Type 2 diabetes drug, Byetta LAR. It's long-acting version of Byetta (exanatide), which the two co-market. In a note to investor's today, Barclays Capital analyst Jim Birchenough wrote: “We believe approval of the first long acting GLP-1 drug bodes well for [Amylin's] once-weekly exenatide LAR and suggests a pragmatic approach by FDA to class related safety issues heading into [Amylin's March 5th PDUFA.” Birchenough increased Amylin's price target to $24 following approval of Victoza, which has a boxed warning for pancreatitis and thyroid cancer.

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