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Updated Aug 8, 2023, 08:06am EDT

Topline

The weight-loss drug Wegovy lowers the risk of “adverse cardiovascular events” by 20%, according to data from a major trial shared by the drug’s maker Novo Nordisk on Tuesday, causing the company’s shares to surge.

Key Facts

In a press release, Novo Nordisk said a weekly 2.4 milligram dose of semaglutide—the generic name for Wegovy, which is also sold under the name “Ozempic”—resulted in a 20% reduction in heart attacks and strokes.

The trial measured data over a period of five years and involved 17,604 participants aged 45 or older who were either overweight or obese.

The trial also found that the 2.4 mg dosage was “safe and well-tolerated” in line with previous similar trials.

The announcement of the trial results caused the drug maker’s Copenhagen-listed shares to surge by more than 16% on Tuesday, before settling at around 13.4% in the green during afternoon trading.

According to Bloomberg, the result of the trials was better than investor expectations of a 15% improvement.

Key Background

Novo Nordisk makes both Ozempic and Wegovy—drugs that gained widespread attention earlier this year due to their effectiveness in aiding weight loss. Despite the differing brand names, both use the same medication known as Semaglutide with slightly different dosages. Wegovy has been approved by the FDA as a weight loss drug, while Ozempic—which was originally intended to regulate blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes—has been prescribed off-label by some doctors for weight loss. Despite its effectiveness as a weight loss medication, semaglutide has come under the scanner for purportedly causing suicidal thoughts as a side effect.

Further Reading

What To Know About Ozempic: The Diabetes Drug Becomes A Viral Weight Loss Hit (Elon Musk Boasts Using It) Creating A Shortage (Forbes)

Obesity Drug Wegovy Cuts Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes by 20%, Study Shows (Bloomberg)

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