Novo Nordisk to invest up to $3.7 bln on diabetes pills

Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:55am EDT

COPENHAGEN Oct 7 (Reuters) – Novo Nordisk plans
to invest up to 20 billion Danish crowns ($3.65 billion) on
developing diabetes tablets intended to replace traditional
insulin injections, it said on Monday.

The Danish company said it planned to spend the money
through to 2020 on six diabetes pills it has under development
and that the sum included potential production facilities.

It estimates the global market for diabetes tablets could be
worth more than 100 billion crowns a year from the beginning of
the next decade, a spokesperson said, confirming a report in the
Danish business newspaper Borsen.

In the conventional treatment, insulin has to be injected
into the bloodstream, something that scares off many potential
users in the early stages of diabetes.

The challenge for the tablet technology is to get the
insulin through gastric acid and into the bloodstream.

Novo Nordisk, the world’s largest insulin producer, aims to
develop both an insulin and a so-called GLP-1 agonist in tablet
form. The company has around 500 employees working on the
development of the tablets, the spokesperson said.

It will spend around 1 billion crowns on the projects this
year, with investment increasing towards possible product
launches early next decade.

At 1235 GMT, Novo Nordisk shares were flat at 913.5 crowns.

(Reporting by Copenhagen Newsroom; Editing by Mark Potter)

Happy pills are linked to a higher risk of diabetes: Antidepressants can cause …

  • Researchers say the risk is for all antidepressants, not just some types
  • The pills could put hundreds of thousands at risk of type 2 diabetes
  • The increased risk could be because people on antidepressants are more likely to be overweight and this is a risk factor for diabetes
  • Scientists think the pills may also be an independent risk factor

Sophie Borland Health Reporter

14:00 EST, 24 September 2013


19:10 EST, 24 September 2013

Antidepressants taken by hundreds of thousands of people may increase the chances of developing diabetes, researchers warn

Antidepressants taken by hundreds of thousands of people may increase the chances of developing diabetes, researchers warn

Antidepressants taken by hundreds of thousands of people may increase the chances of developing diabetes, researchers warn.

A major study involving more than a million patients has shown that those taking all antidepressant pills are at far higher risk from the condition.

Academics from Southampton University think this may be because antidepressants cause weight gain which in turn leads to type 2 diabetes.

But despite the strong link, they cannot be sure that the pills are definitely causing the condition.

Patients on antidepressants are more likely to be overweight so have a higher risk of developing diabetes in the first place than healthy individuals.

The numbers of Britons taking antidepressants has soared in the last decade and more than 50 million prescriptions were handed out by GPs last year compared to just 20 million in 1999.

But experts say doctors are handing out the pills too freely without considering the possible long-term side effects.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, academics from Southampton University looked at 25 research papers that involved just over a million patients.

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found many patients were developing type 2 diabetes – the commonest form – after they had been prescribed antidepressants, which suggests the pills cause the illness.

Antidepressants can cause weight gain
and obesity which in turn worsens the body’s ability to regulate blood
sugar -which triggers diabetes.

Lead researcher Dr Katharine Barnard, a
health psychologist from the University of Southampton said:
‘Antidepressants are used widely in the UK, with a significant increase
in their use recently.

A major study involving more than a million patients has shown that those taking all antidepressant pills are at far higher risk from the condition

A major study involving more than a million patients has shown that those taking all antidepressant pills are at far higher risk from diabetes

‘Our research shows that when you take away all the classic risk factors of type 2 diabetes; weight gain, lifestyle etc, there is something about antidepressants that appears to be an independent risk factor.

‘This potential increased risk is worrying. Heightened alertness to the possibility of diabetes in people taking antidepressants is necessary until further research is conducted.’

Richard Holt, Professor in Diabetes
and Endocrinology at the University of Southampton, said: ‘While
depression is an important clinical problem and antidepressants are
effective treatments for this debilitating condition, clinicians need to
be aware of the potential risk of diabetes, particularly when using
antidepressants in higher doses or for longer duration.

prescribing antidepressants, doctors should be aware of this risk and
take steps to monitor for diabetes and reduce that risk of diabetes
through lifestyle modification.’

The numbers of Britons taking antidepressants has soared in the last decade and more than 50 million prescriptions were handed out by GPs last year compared to just 20 million in 1999

The numbers of Britons taking antidepressants has soared in the last decade and more than 50 million prescriptions were handed out by GPs last year compared to just 20 million in 1999

Around 3 million people in Britain have now been diagnosed with diabetes, nearly twice as many compared to 1996 when there were just 1.4 million sufferers.

The rise has been blamed on increasing levels of obesity and nine in ten patients have type 2 diabetes which is triggered by being overweight.

Experts calculate that by 2020, there will be 4 million people in the UK with the condition.

Comments (54)

Share what you think

The comments below have not been moderated.


Cheadle Hulme, United Kingdom,

9 minutes ago

I love these comments particularly as I have yet to see a GP who isn’t a loon anyway:)


Wise County Texas,

22 minutes ago

Sophie Borland, you haven’t a clue. Antidepressants do not make people happy.

It is true however that far too many people are prescribed these who may not truly need them. In the USA, doctors are pressured to give these out, and then sued if someone offs themselves while taking them.


Fort Worth, United States,

1 hour ago

I’d like to see “happy pill” replaced with the accurate description “antidepressant”. As a long-term sufferer of severe depression, these medications have literally saved my life.

Yes, I have gained some weight – I am far from overweight – and diabetes runs in my family, but I consider the risks involved as opposed to quality of life.

In addition to antidepressants, I am in therapy and look forward to mental health in the future. With any medication, doctors are quick to write a prescription / apply a band-aid. Any drug can be misprescribed.



2 hours ago

I wish the DM would stop calling them happy pills. for some people they just help to live a normal life not ‘happy’


Swindon, United Kingdom,

56 minutes ago

So true, I need them just to function and live a normal life. Without them I sleep most of the time and have no control of my moods. I’m either crying or angry.



3 hours ago

Someone who has reached a situation in life where they are prescribed antidepressants are going to be less likely to excerise as lack of energy and motivation are symptons of depression as is comfort eating. Also a side effect of antidepressants can be drowsiness which is also going to make the patient less active. A patient with a broken leg is probably also going to gain weight but not because of the painkillers. Simple scaremongering.


Sunny Florida, United States,

3 hours ago

I took Prozac at age 27 and in less than 2 years my weight jumped from 135 to 164. The gain was so depressing! My weight went back down after discontinuing it. In the almost 18 years since then, I’ve taken 2 other antidepressants with no weight gain. At age 45, I feel fortunate to have low blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.



4 hours ago

Everything and anything can cause weight gain or loss but it’s how we manage this which is important.

is the pope catholic,

rome, Vatican,

4 hours ago

so if your taking them be mindful of this and excersise and eat healthy etc,but then again,next week they will say prozac cures diabetes



4 hours ago

And they don’t work anyway.


Cheadle Hulme, United Kingdom,

11 minutes ago

It depends – they do sometimes and if they don’t you need to have a chat with someone:)


UK, United Kingdom,

5 hours ago

Developing diabetes in later life is a small price to pay for a depression treatment that actually works.

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Gelesis Near Multimillion Dollar Obesity Pill Deal

Gelesis Near Multimillion Dollar Obesity Pill Deal [Globes, Tel
Aviv, Israel]

From Globes (Tel Aviv) (March 12, 2013)

March 12–Sources inform “Globes” that start up Gelesis Inc.,
which is developing a pill to treat obesity, is in advanced talks
for a multimillion deal with a big pharma company to jointly
develop the product.

Gelesis’s pill expands in the stomach to give the
sensation of being full, thereby reducing food intake and resulting
in weight loss. The company, founded in 2006, is examining the
results of its recently completed an efficacy clinical trial, and
is due to publish them soon. Although the company had the option of
presenting the product to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
as a nutritional supplement or medical device, it opted to present
it as a medication, on the assumption that, if approved, the
product’s profit margins would be higher. Even so, because
the pill does not enter the body’s cells or affect them, the
approval process should be fairly straightforward.

The sources said that, under the pending agreement, a foreign
company will provide Gelesis with a down payment and milestone
payments amounting to tens of millions of dollars. The big pharma
company will finance all of Gelesis’s future clinical trials
on the product and pay royalties on sales. The full value of the
agreement could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

Gelesis was founded by CEO Yishai Zohar at Boston-based
incubator PureTech Ventures, and has raised $23 million to date
from Merck Co. (NYSE: MRK), OrbiMed Advisors LLC, Israeli
advanced hybrid composite materials developer ExoTech Bio Solutions
Ltd., and Australia’s Queensland Biocapital Funds.
Headquartered in Boston, Gelesis has an Israeli development

Gelesis’s pill is made from indigestible edible fiber
taken before a meal. The pills inflate in contact with water, make
food more viscous, keeping it in the stomach longer, and creating
the sense of being sated. The pills gradually biodegrade, releasing
the liquids, which are excreted through the intestine, but only
after keeping the food viscous, reducing the intestine’s
ability to absorb fats and sugars from the food.

In a study on 95 people several years ago, many reported a sense
of being sated, and only 16 percent said that they felt discomfort,
such as stomach aches or nausea. It may be possible to reduce these
side effects by personalizing the dosage.

The obesity treatment market currently includes various appetite
suppressants, but the leading solution for morbid obesity is
stomach bypass or reduction surgery. Although other products for
filling the stomach are under development, Gelesis’s edge is
that its product works with food.


(c)2013 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Visit the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services


Posted: March 2013

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Fantasia Barrino doing much better since suicide attempt

Weeks after trying to take her own life, Fantasia Barrino says she is doing “much better” now. Appearing at an event in Atlanta on Saturday to promote her new album, Fantasia told in an exclusive interview: “I’m doing much better now. I’ve got my strength. I’m OK.”

Fantasia was rushed to a North Carolina hospital after taking an overdose of pills in early August. News of her affair with married Antwaun Cook and a lawsuit against her by his wife for allegedly ruining the marriage had just broken, and she reportedly couldn’t deal with it.

Fantasia, who won ‘American Idol’ in 2004, overdosed on Aspirin and sleeping pills, and was disappointed when she woke up in hospital.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and thinking I’m still in this hell hole with all the drama going on,” the Examiner quotes her as saying.

Fantasia was set on committing suicide after deciding not to deal with her life anymore, and said she knew exactly what she was doing when she took all those pills.

“I didn’t have any fight in me. I didn’t care about anything. I just wanted out,” People quotes Fantasia as saying in her VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ interview. “At that moment, I wanted out. I wanted it to be over with – all of it, all of that [expletive].

“I just sat in the closet and looked at the mirror and took all the pills in the bottle. I wanted to go to sleep and just be at peace. I knew exactly what I was doing. You can’t accidentally take a whole bottle of pills.”

But what made her want to end it all? Was it just the affair with Antwaun Cook?

“I was tired of people doing me wrong, constantly, over and over again, dealing with my family – my father, dealing with men and their s*** – I was tired,” she said. “My head was hurting me. I was over it.”

Fantasia claims a nurse in hospital gave her the motivation to keep going, which has seen her make appearances, perform and promote her album several times in the weeks following her suicide attempt.

And, despite her low point being only a few weeks ago, she seems to have recovered and learnt a lot about what it means to be in such a dark place.

“I realized how people end up in the grave. Because that one moment [snaps her fingers] of just breaking or feeling like I can’t, I can’t go on, it’s too heavy. That was somewhere I don’t ever want to go again.”

Read about Fantasia Barrino’s overdose.

Other celebrities who have had recent overdoses include Jennifer Capriati and Shawn King.

Other celebrities who have recently been in hospital for other reasons include Katy PerryCheryl Cole and Pink.

Images: PR Photos

Weight loss pills and supplements are fake, says a study

According to a health report published by , food supplements that are meant to trigger weight loss do not actually work. The study to find out this fact has been done by experts from Peninsula Medical School at the University of Plymouth.

The researchers came out with the conclusion that a number of supplements with fiber, cabbage and plant extracts are fake and just do not help people in shedding weight. The same study was also conducted by German researchers, only to find out no evidence of the pills working on the human bodies.

According to, the findings of this research were presented at the International Conference on Obesity in Stockholm. The researchers are of the belief that none of the supplements is recommended for losing body weight.

Although there are a number of non-herbal and herbal supplements that are being sold in the market in order to trigger weight loss, but they have not showed any positive signs in human bodies.

After carrying out the research on few food supplements, the healthcare professionals were not satisfied with the results and they said that “Few food supplements have therefore been submitted to clinical trials, and many healthcare professionals feel uncertain about their therapeutic value.”

Celebrities who have had weight issues include John GoodmanOprah WinfreyKirstie AlleySara Rue and Sharon Osbourne.


Christie Brinkley tells daughter to get help

Christie Brinkley knows what it means to be a parent, and is following through with the consequences of her daughter’s December overdose on pills. 24-year-old musician Alexa Ray Joel (Christie’s daughter with second husband Billy Joel) was taken to hospital after swallowing a handful of pills, and then dialing 911 herself.

“Your job as a parent is to listen,” Christie tells Ladies’ Home Journal in an interview. “And to dole out as much love as you can. That includes tough love. I told Alexa, ‘You got yourself worked into such a tizzy. You need to examine that, you need to seek professional advice.’”

Alexa had been dealing with the end of her relationship to bandmate Jimmy Riot. “She tried to do something dramatic to prove to her boyfriend how much he hurt her,” Christie says. “I think many people can relate to that excruciating pain of love gone wrong. I’d rather have a broken arm than a broken heart.”

While her stunt wasn’t a suicide attempt (she only swallowed homeopathic pills), Alexa is reportedly currently still in therapy. The 56-year-old says her daughter is currently focusing on her career, and insists she is doing well.

Read about Alexa’s overdose.

Images: PR Photos