Ozempic’s impact on kidney patients limited, Dialysis Provider DaVita says

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Ozempic’s impact on kidney patients limited, Dialysis Provider DaVita says
This photograph taken on February 23, 2023, in Paris, shows the anti-diabetic medication "Ozempic" (semaglutide) made by Danish pharmaceutical company "Novo Nordisk". - On TikTok, the hashtag "#Ozempic" has reached more than 500 million views: this anti-diabetic medication is trending on the social network for its' slimming properties, a phenomenon that is causing supply shortages and worrying doctors. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

DaVita Inc. downplayed the impact of GLP-1 drugs like Novo Nordisk A/S’s Ozempic after study results in kidney patients sent the dialysis-provider’s stock tumbling.

The Denver-based company said in a statement that it’s “eager to understand the results of the study” in which Ozempic met an efficacy goal for treating kidney failure. However, based on the patients included in the study, “we believe there may be limited application” to the overall patient population that suffers from kidney disease, the company said.

GLP-1 drugs have sent shockwaves across the health-care industry and beyond. Kidney-care providers took a hit earlier this week after Novo said that its diabetes drug showed surprisingly early effectiveness in a study of patients who also had chronic kidney disease.

DaVita shares rose 1.1% at 9:42 a.m. in New York Thursday after falling almost 17% the day before. Shares of Baxter International Inc., which also develops treatments for kidney disease, rose 1% after dropping more than 12% Wednesday.

Wells Fargo analysts said the market was overreacting to Novo’s study and that they see GLP-1 drugs as having a “small impact on dialysis.”

Patients with diabetes are often at higher risk of developing other health conditions, including kidney failure. Full study results won’t be available until 2024. Future trials and research are needed to determine whether the findings could benefit a chronic kidney disease population beyond those studied in the trial, DaVita said.

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