Tags: obesity | weight loss | novo nordisk | wegovy | amycretin | experimental

New Novo Obesity Drug More Effective Than Wegovy

Novo Nordisk logo on screen of smartphone
(Dreamstime)

Thursday, 07 March 2024 08:10 AM EST

Novo Nordisk said on Thursday early trial data for its highly anticipated experimental obesity drug amycretin showed a higher weight loss compared with its popular Wegovy treatment, sending its shares to new record highs.

A Phase I trial of amycretin pill version showed participants lost 13.1% of their weight after 12 weeks, the company said at an investor meeting. That compares to a weight loss of about 6% after 12 weeks in a trial for Wegovy, its blockbuster obesity drug.

Investors welcomed the news as indicating Novo had more in its pipeline beyond its hugely successful Wegovy. Its shares have soared since launching the weekly injections in the United States in 2021 and are now Europe's most valuable listed company, ahead of LVMH.

"Novo has made clear that the amycretin molecule likely will form the foundation of the company's rapidly growing pipeline," said Guggenheim analyst Seamus Fernandez.

Novo's shares surged 5.1% to a record peak following the announcement. Shares have risen more than three-fold since June 2021 when it launched Wegovy in the United States.

Nearly half of Novo's current valuation is based on the company's pipeline of new experimental drugs such as amycretin, according to calculations by Berenberg analysts last week.

Wegovy, which showed an overall weight loss of 15% after 68 weeks, belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 agonists, originally designed to treat type 2 diabetes, that have been shown to reduce food cravings and empty the stomach more slowly.

Following the success of these drugs, companies are working on other promising weight-loss therapies such as amycretin which targets a hormone called amylin in the pancreas that affects hunger.

Wegovy was the first of a new group of highly effective weight-loss drugs to be launched. Novo and Eli Lilly are so far the leaders in the obesity drug market, forecast by analysts to be worth $100 billion by 2030.

HEART DISEASE

CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen also announced the company was expanding its focus on diabetes and weight-loss therapies to include cardiovascular disease treatments.

The change comes after the drugmaker last August said a large study had shown Wegovy also had a clear cardiovascular benefit, boosting efforts by the company to move Wegovy beyond its image as a lifestyle drug.

"Any company that is so heavily exposed to one therapeutic area needs to try to develop other pillars to stand on," said Wolfgang Lickl, portfolio manager at KB-Vermögensverwaltung.

"The sheer success in diabetes and obesity will make that difficult, but the cardiovascular field makes sense because of the many synergies," he said.

Following the August trial, Novo has been trying to convince skeptical medical insurers that the long-term benefits of Wegovy are enough to reduce the overall burden on healthcare systems and the cost of treating heart disease in overweight and obese people.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Novo Nordisk said on Thursday early trial data for its highly anticipated experimental obesity drug amycretin showed a higher weight loss compared with its popular Wegovy treatment, sending its shares to new record highs. A Phase I trial of amycretin pill version showed...
obesity, weight loss, novo nordisk, wegovy, amycretin, experimental
467
2024-10-07
Thursday, 07 March 2024 08:10 AM
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