Novo Nordisk A/S: Semaglutide 2.4 mg Reduces Cardiovascular Risk in Overweight and Obese Adults: Insights from the SELECT Trial


In a groundbreaking announcement, Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company renowned for its commitment to combating diabetes and other chronic illnesses, unveiled the highly anticipated headline results from the SELECT (Semaglutide effects on cardiovascular outcomes in people with overweight or obesity) trial.

This pivotal study examined the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous once-weekly semaglutide 2.4 mg as an adjunct to standard care for the prevention of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) over a span of up to five years. The trial, encompassing 17,604 adults aged 45 years or older, was designed to cater specifically to individuals afflicted with overweight or obesity and existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) but devoid of any previous history of diabetes.

The primary objective of the SELECT trial was to ascertain whether semaglutide 2.4 mg could deliver a substantial reduction in MACE incidence, defined as the composite outcome of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke. This composite measure represents a critical marker of cardiovascular health, and its successful reduction signifies a significant stride in preventive medicine.

The results of the SELECT trial yielded remarkable findings, with semaglutide 2.4 mg demonstrating a statistically significant and superior reduction in MACE of 20% compared to the placebo group. Notably, all three components of the primary endpoint, namely cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and non-fatal stroke, contributed to the overall reduction in MACE observed in the semaglutide-treated group. This achievement marked a turning point in the landscape of cardiovascular prevention and management.

A pivotal aspect of these findings is the safe and well-tolerated profile of semaglutide 2.4 mg, a characteristic consistent with its performance in prior clinical trials. The reassurance of safety is a paramount concern in the development of therapeutic interventions, and semaglutide’s consistent record in this regard underscores its potential as a viable and reliable option for overweight and obese individuals at risk of cardiovascular events.

Martin Holst Lange, the executive vice president for Development at Novo Nordisk, expressed his enthusiasm for the results, highlighting the profound implications for individuals grappling with obesity-related cardiovascular risk. He emphasized that, until now, the medical community lacked approved medications that simultaneously addressed weight management and cardiovascular risk. The SELECT trial’s findings could revolutionize the approach to obesity treatment and prevention, potentially reshaping the way the medical fraternity perceives and manages this complex health issue.

With these groundbreaking results, Novo Nordisk is poised to seek regulatory approvals for a label indication expansion of semaglutide 2.4 mg (marketed as Wegovy®) in the United States and the European Union in 2023. This anticipated regulatory move signifies a critical step toward making this innovative therapy more widely accessible to those who stand to benefit from its potential to transform cardiovascular health in the overweight and obese population.

While the headline results are monumental, the detailed findings from the SELECT trial remain eagerly anticipated. The company plans to present these results at a scientific conference later in 2023. The comprehensive insights garnered from these detailed results are expected to offer a more nuanced understanding of semaglutide’s mechanisms of action, its impact on specific cardiovascular parameters, and its potential to revolutionize cardiovascular prevention and management.

The SELECT trial itself, with its meticulously designed protocol, stands as a testament to the dedication of Novo Nordisk to advancing medical science. This randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial was meticulously crafted to evaluate the efficacy of semaglutide 2.4 mg as an adjunct to standard care for preventing MACE in individuals with established CVD, overweight, or obesity, but without prior diabetes history. The trial enrolled a sizable cohort of 17,604 adults across 41 countries, making it a globally representative study that aimed to shed light on the therapy’s potential impact across diverse populations.

Key secondary objectives of the SELECT trial extended beyond MACE reduction and encompassed a spectrum of cardiovascular and metabolic parameters. These objectives included comparing semaglutide 2.4 mg to placebo in terms of mortality rates, cardiovascular risk factors, glucose metabolism, body weight management, and renal function. This comprehensive approach highlights the multifaceted nature of cardiovascular health and the intricate interplay of various factors that contribute to its maintenance.

As a result of the SELECT trial’s comprehensive and pioneering nature, the findings hold the potential to redefine the standard of care for individuals with obesity and cardiovascular risk. The impact extends not only to clinical practice but also to public health policies, given the growing prevalence of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases worldwide.

Wegovy® (once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide 2.4 mg) stands at the forefront of Novo Nordisk’s commitment to combating obesity-related health challenges. This GLP-1 receptor agonist has demonstrated its efficacy as an adjunct to reduced-calorie diets and increased physical activity in managing chronic weight in diverse populations.

The indication extends to adults with obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) or overweight (BMI ≥27 kg/m2) accompanied by weight-related comorbid conditions, as well as pediatric patients aged 12 years and older with obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile for age and gender). The therapy’s availability in the US, Denmark, Norway, and Germany underscores Novo Nordisk’s global reach and its dedication to improving health outcomes on an international scale.

Incorporated in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk has evolved into a prominent global healthcare entity dedicated to combatting chronic diseases, most notably diabetes, obesity, and rare blood and endocrine disorders. With a profound commitment to pioneering scientific breakthroughs and enhancing accessibility to their medications, the company’s endeavors extend beyond treatment to encompass prevention and, ultimately, cures for these critical health challenges.

Novo Nordisk’s substantial global footprint is evident in its presence across 80 countries, where it employs approximately 57,100 individuals. The company’s shares are listed on both the Nasdaq Copenhagen (Novo-B) and the New York Stock Exchange (NVO), reflecting its worldwide influence and commitment to transforming healthcare paradigms.

In conclusion, the results from the SELECT trial mark a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against obesity-related cardiovascular risk. The remarkable reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events observed with semaglutide 2.4 mg signifies a potential paradigm shift in both obesity management and cardiovascular prevention.

Novo Nordisk’s commitment to driving change and elevating the standard of care through scientific innovation has the potential to revolutionize how obesity is perceived and treated. As the world awaits the detailed results from the SELECT trial and anticipates the forthcoming regulatory approvals, the potential for semaglutide 2.4 mg to reshape the trajectory of cardiovascular health remains a beacon of hope for individuals worldwide.

Semaglutide 2.4 mg is a once-weekly injectable medication that is used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. It works by helping to control blood sugar levels by increasing the production of insulin and decreasing the production of glucagon. Semaglutide 2.4 mg is also approved to help people with overweight or obesity lose weight.

Semaglutide 2.4 mg is a long-acting form of the GLP-1 receptor agonist, semaglutide. GLP-1 is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Semaglutide 2.4 mg works by mimicking the effects of GLP-1, binding to GLP-1 receptors on cells in the pancreas and intestine. This binding signals the pancreas to release more insulin and the intestine to slow down the movement of food through the digestive system.

Semaglutide 2.4 mg has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In clinical trials, semaglutide 2.4 mg was shown to reduce HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar control) by an average of 1.6% to 2.0%, compared to placebo. Semaglutide 2.4 mg has also been shown to be effective in helping people with overweight or obesity lose weight. In clinical trials, semaglutide 2.4 mg was shown to help people lose an average of 12.4% of their body weight over a period of 68 weeks.

Semaglutide 2.4 mg is generally well-tolerated. The most common side effects of semaglutide 2.4 mg are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and headache. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Other side effects of semaglutide 2.4 mg include pancreatitis, thyroid problems, and kidney problems.

Semaglutide 2.4 mg is contraindicated in people with a history of pancreatitis, medullary thyroid cancer, or serious kidney problems. Semaglutide 2.4 mg should also be used with caution in people with a history of depression or other mental health conditions.

Semaglutide 2.4 mg is a safe and effective medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of semaglutide 2.4 mg before starting treatment.

Here are some additional information about semaglutide 2.4 mg:

  • It is available as a prefilled pen injector.
  • The recommended dose is 2.4 mg once weekly.
  • It can be taken with or without food.
  • It is important to take semaglutide 2.4 mg at the same time each week.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose as scheduled. Do not take two doses at the same time.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about semaglutide 2.4 mg, talk to your doctor.

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