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Novo Nordisk cuts Wegovy starter dose supply in U.S. to cope with demand By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Novo Nordisk logo is seen in Bagsvaerd outside of Copenhagen, Denmark February 1, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Liselotte Sabroe via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Danish drug developer Novo Nordisk (NYSE:) on Thursday said it would reduce supply of some dose strengths of its popular Wegovy obesity drug in the United States due to high demand after the firm reported forecast-beating first-quarter results.

Shares in Novo Nordisk traded down 6.4% at 0704 GMT.

“To safeguard continuity of care, the supply of the lower Wegovy dose strengths in the US will be reduced temporarily,” Novo said in a statement.

Novo has faced supply constraints for its hugely popular Wegovy drug as a result of overwhelming demand, and has invested massively in increasing supply.

“We cannot supply an uptake that just continues growing, so it’s important for us that we secure continuity of supply for those patients who have started treatment,” Chief Executive Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told journalists on Thursday.

Supply of starter doses of Wegovy in the U.S. would be cut by around 50% for “some months,” Jorgensen added.

Last month the company said a second contract manufacturer would commence production of Wegovy and on Thursday Jorgensen said a third manufacturer would begin production later this year.

Sales of Novo’s blockbuster diabetes drug, Ozempic, and Wegovy, grew 43% and 211% respectively in the first three months.

Novo reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 25 billion Danish crowns ($3.72 billion), above an average analyst forecast of 22.4 billion, according to a Refinitiv poll.

Earlier this month, Novo, the second-most valuable company in Europe by market capitalisation, significantly raised its full-year operating profit and sales expectations on the back of strong demand for Wegovy.

Novo on Thursday maintained the full-year growth guidance in local currencies. It specified that sales and operating profit growth reported in Danish crowns are now expected to be 6 and 9 percentage points lower than at local currencies, respectively.

The Danish crown has been relatively strong in the past few years compared to many currencies, which explains the lower growth in crowns.

($1 = 6.7221 Danish crowns)

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