Teva launches generic version of Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Victoza

(Reuters) -Teva Pharmaceuticals said on Monday it had launched a generic version of Novo Nordisk's Victoza to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, making it the first generic GLP-1 drug in the United States where the drug class has seen overwhelming demand.

GLP-1 drugs, originally approved to treat diabetes, are also prescribed for obesity.

The growing popularity of GLP-1 drugs such as Eli Lilly's Mounjaro and Danish drugmaker Novo's Wegovy has resulted in intermittent shortages over the past year and drugmakers are racing to increase supply.

But demand for Victoza, a first-generation GLP-1, has been on a decline with the loss of patent protection last year and as patients move towards once-weekly and tablet-based treatments, according to Novo.

Victoza, chemically known as liraglutide, is a once-daily injection approved for use in adults and children aged 10 or older with type 2 diabetes.

The drug brought in annual sales of $1.66 billion as of April 2024, according to Teva.

Teva's generic launch comes days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tentatively approved London-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals' generic version of Victoza, according to the agency's website.

Hikma did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

($1 = 6.9510 Danish crowns)

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Devika Syamnath and Shinjini Ganguli)