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From the Biggest Player in Diabetes Care…
- Melvin D’Souza,Managing Director, Novo Nordisk India

Tresiba will offer people with diabetes the flexibility in the timing of insulin administration on occasions when administration at the same time of day is not possible.

On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Melvin D’Souza, Managing Director, Novo Nordisk India in an interview with Ananya Sen after the launch of Novo Nordisk’s Tresiba in India.

What is the size of the Indian Diabetes market as against the global Diabetes market?
Based on IMS SSA Audit July’13, Indian Diabetes market is valued at Rs 4,700 cr. while insulin market is valued at Rs 1,125 cr (contributes 24 per cent of diabetes market), OHA is valued at Rs 3,500 cr & contributes to 75 per cent of diabetes market.

What is Novo Nordisk’s share in this market?
Novo Nordisk has been a clear market leader in the diabetes insulin market. Novo Nordisk currently holds 60% per cent of the Rs 1,100 crore total insulin market in India. (Source: IMS) With 90 years of leadership position in diabetes care we have been continuously innovating and strengthening our portfolio to address the requirements of people with diabetes. To increase awareness amongst people we are engaging actively with key stakeholders including State and Central Government in various diabetes programmes to build awareness amongst people and clinicians about timely prevention, detection and control.

How has Novo Nordisk managed to stay as a global leader in Diabetes Care consistently?
Novo Nordisk has a long heritage in changing the diabetes landscape with 90 years of leadership position in diabetes care. We have focused our efforts in developing treatments that address key challenges faced by patients and clinicians. We have been constantly innovating and discovering new molecules that bring in significant clinical benefits to patients that would enable them to lead a healthy and productive life.

Novo Nordisk has focused on creating value through innovative and patient friendly diabetes care products. We aspire to create value in the market by working closely with our key stakeholders including our end users. Be it through the services we offer or products which address real needs, we are continuously focused at creating value to help build credibility with our customers and end users. The commitment to continue with innovation and deliver quality products of international standards has helped us successfully maintain the leadership position in this space.

Do you think sustaining in the premier position is becoming tougher than ever before with the emergence of newer treatments by competitor companies?
Innovation is the key to Novo Nordisk’s leadership position globally. Our vast pool of scientists and researchers across the globe are continuously engaged in creating innovative products that are cost effective and patient friendly in nature. We are committed in providing value to our endusers through newer and latest treatments in diabetes care. The case in point is the new basal insulin – Tresiba launched for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in India.

How will your new product Tresiba prove to be more beneficial than any other existing insulin treatment?
Tresiba, a new basal insulin developed by Novo Nordisk for the treatment of type 1 and type 2, This is a once-daily basal insulin with a duration of action beyond 42 hours, allowing for flexibility in day-to-day dosing time when needed, without compromising efficacy or risk of hypoglycaemia.

It is the first insulin to offer people with diabetes the flexibility in the timing of insulin administration on occasions when administration at the same time of day is not possible. In current insulin treatments, people with diabetes are required to take their long-acting insulin at around the same time each day. However, the mode of action of insulin degludec ensures that, on occasions when this is not possible, people with diabetes can alter the time they take their insulin without compromising their diabetes control or putting themselves at increased risk of hypoglycaemia.

When will it hit the Indian market?
Tresiba is already made available in India, we have ensured to bring this product line to India without much time lag. Physicians now have the option of prescribing the molecule degludec based on their patient’s requirement.

Which are the countries that have already approved Tresiba?
Tresiba has been successfully approved in 33 countries.

What will be your expectations from this product in India?

Tresiba is a new basal insulin that offers effective glycaemic control, a significantly lower rate of night-time hypoglycaemia, and the flexibility in day-to-day dosing time when needed. Novo Nordisk believes Tresiba will have significant impact on helping patients manage and control their diabetes effectively.

Could you please brief us on Novo Nordisk’s products pipeline?
In India Novo Nordisk has an entire range of Insulins - Human Insulins and Modern Insulins. We also have the GLP- 1 (Glucagon-Like Peptide-1) analogues. Under Modern Insulin we have NovoMix, NovoRapid, Levemir and under Human Insulin we have Actrapid, Mixtard and Insulatard. In devices we have NovoPen 4 which is a durable insulin pen that allows patients to change their insulin cartridge whilst retaining the same pen. In fact NovoPen was the first insulin pen ever produced. We also have the Next Generation FlexPen which is a prefilled insulin delivery device, eliminating the step of loading insulin into the delivery system.

We have some exciting new products in our pipeline which includes a once-weekly GLP- 1 analogue and a fixed-ratio combination of liraglutide and insulin degludec that is expected to get more patients to treatment target than GLP-1 analogue alone. We are also in the initiation of the phase 3 studies for semaglutide, a once-weekly GLP-1 analogue for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In addition, for both insulin and GLP-1, we have continued to explore oral formulations. These are currently in phase 1 studies. Finally, we are also involved in early stage research with leading academic centres to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.