Novo Nordisk uncertain about the future of the diabetes market

Novo Nordisk, the global leader in diabetes care, reported its fourth quarter and full year 2016 results, which did not meet predictions by analysts. The Danish group’s sales totaled $1.26bn in Q4 and $0.5 in EPS, whereas analysts expected $0.52. Sales throughout the year, instead, increased by 6% to $15.98bn and profits achieved $5.42bn, with China and Latin America playing a significant role – they grew by 28%. Investors, however, are concerned about the future outlook. The company’s management expects 2017 profits to be between -2% and +3%, an uncertainty due to the complex dynamics of the US market. Moreover, the development of the blockbuster Victoza – which alone produces $2.9bn pa – will be important in the near future. The drug is facing competition from Teva’s generic and Sanofi and Eli Lilly’s insulins. In order to reduce its dependence on diabetes, Novo is currently targeting new markets, the most relevant being the obesity treatment area, with an investigational drug – FGF21 – soon to initiate a Phase I clinical trial. (Source Novo Nordisk)