China's state media is putting up a brave front as the country's trade war with the U.S. escalated sharply over the weekend.China Economyread more
* Second-quarter operating profit beats forecast
* Lifts 2019 sales outlook, ups operating profit forecast
* Upbeat about sales of its newest diabetes drug (Adds details on outlook, CEO quote)
COPENHAGEN, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk raised its 2019 sales outlook on expectations for its latest drugs for type 2 diabetes and obesity, as its quarterly operating profit beat forecasts.
The Danish firm is pinning growth hopes on a relatively new treatment for type 2 diabetes as its traditional insulin drugs are in the firing line amid political pressure over the soaring cost of the life-sustaining medicine in the United States.
Sales of its new once-weekly injectable treatment, branded Ozempic, rose to 2.3 billion Danish crowns in the quarter.
"The launch of Ozempic is expanding the GLP-1 market, and we are encouraged by the positive market reception in both North America and Europe," Chief Executive Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said in a statement.
Ozempic belongs to the GLP-1 drug class, which imitate an intestinal hormone that stimulates the production of insulin, and makes up a growing share of the diabetes market.
Novo, an early mover together with Eli Lilly, has a 46.6% share of the market.
It now expects 2019 sales growth of 4-6%, up from a previous 2-5%, and operating profit growth of 4-6% compared to the previously stated 2-6%, both measured in local currency.
The world's largest diabetes drugmaker posted a 10% rise in second-quarter operating profit to 13.5 billion Danish crowns ($2.03 billion), above an average 13.0 billion crowns forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.. ($1 = 6.6642 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; editing by Darren Schuettler and Alexander Smith)