Shares in Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic, surged after the company announced positive results from a trial of its weight-loss drug for kidney failure in diabetes patients.

Novo Nordisk has decided to halt the trial, called FLOW, which began in 2019 and aimed to investigate the progression of kidney impairment and the risk of renal and cardiovascular mortality in people with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. The trial had a global reach with over 3,500 participants across 28 countries.

The Danish pharmaceutical giant, known for its blockbuster weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, has already seen success with Wegovy in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Both Ozempic and Wegovy contain the active ingredient semaglutide, which mimics a gut hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Originally developed as a diabetes treatment, Ozempic has gained popularity as a weight-loss medication due to its efficacy in promoting weight loss.

Citi analysts commented that the growing body of evidence supporting the use of GLP-1 goes beyond its benefits in weight loss and blood glucose control.

As of 0811 GMT on Wednesday, Novo Nordisk shares were trading 3.7% higher at DKK674.

The decision to terminate the FLOW trial ahead of schedule was based on a recommendation from an independent data monitoring committee, which concluded that the interim analysis met the pre-set criteria for efficacy. Novo Nordisk will now proceed with closing the trial and expects to announce full results during the first half of 2024.

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