Leading healthcare company Novo Nordisk on Monday announced the launch of Victoza, a new drug for treatment of diabetes, in India.

Victoza is designed to treat type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, which is caused by a problem in the manner the body makes or uses insulin, a hormone central to regulating energy and glucose metabolism.

The drug helps effectively control blood sugar, reduce weight and systolic blood pressure and improve functioning of beta cells.

Victoza, the first human Glucagon-Like-Peptide1 (GLP-1) analogue, was approved in January 2010 by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults.

“Type 2 diabetes often coexists with other high-risk conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity, which adds to cardiovascular risk factors. Liraglutide provides the answer for people to control diabetes and reduce risk factors,” said Prasanna Kumar, a professor of endocrinology and metabolism at M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore.

“The launch of Victoza means a major advancement in treatment of type 2 diabetes,” said Novo Nordisk India Managing Director Melvin D’souza.

“India has almost 50.8 million people affected by the disease, of which almost 95 per cent are people with Type 2 diabetes. Victoza can be a significant treatment option for these patients” he said.