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Weight-loss drug developers line up to tap market worth $150 billion

Novo Nordisk's Wegovy and Eli Lilly's Zepbound are currently the leading weight loss pharmaceutical market, and they are expected to be worth around $150 billion by the beginning of the 2030s.

NOVO-NORDISK

However, other drug companies are aiming to get on the bandwagon. Here is a list of companies with public listings that are aiming at the next blockbuster franchise opportunity:

NOVO NORDISK

Novo’s newest drug candidate, amycretin, helped obese patients reach 13.1 percent weight loss after twelve weeks of therapy. This is in comparison to a loss of around 6.6% after 12 weeks of a study for Wegovy.

Novo has announced plans to begin a mid-stage research study on amycretin during the second quarter of the year. The results are expected by the beginning of 2026.

Novo Nordisk reported findings from a major study in August that showed Wegovy also offered a significant cardiovascular benefit. Wegovy has an active ingredient that is the same as that used in Novo’s diabetes medicine Ozempic, which was approved in 2021.

The company’s drugmaker reported in June results from the oral dose variant of the drug semaglutide. It helped obese or overweight adults shed 15 percent of their weight, similar to recent findings from other research-based medications for obesity.

The company announced in February that it was going to purchase three Catalent fill-finish facilities located situated in Anagni, Italy; Brussels, Belgium; and Bloomington, Indiana – from Novo Holdings for $11 billion in order to aid in the growth of the Wegovy production. Wegovy. They will be purchased when Novo Holdings completes its Catalent acquisition.

ELI LILLY

Eli Lilly’s weight loss therapy, Zepbound, got the approval of US and UK regulators in November, opening the path for a formidable new competitor for Novo’s Wegovy.

The company recorded $175.8 million in revenue for Zepbound within the first weeks following its launch in December. The drug, referred to chemically as tripeptide, was made available under the name Mounjaro in 2022 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is employed “off-label” for weight loss.

Lilly announced in June that the mid-stage study for its new-generation weight loss drug, which is a weekly injection of the drug retatrutide, resulted in a weight loss of as high as 24.2 percent after just 48 weeks.

PFIZER

Pfizer announced in December that it would not conduct any further tests of a daily variant of their oral weight loss drug, danuglipron.

The decision was made following the fact that a majority of participants in a mid-stage study quit due to high rates of side effects like vomiting and nausea.

The company stated that it would instead concentrate on a daily modified-release version of Danuglipron. Information regarding how it interacts with humans will be available this year.

In June, Pfizer halted the production of the once-a-day pill due to concerns about the safety of liver function.

ROCHE AND CARMOT THERAPEUTICS

Roche purchased CT-388 as an element of their $2.7 billion purchase from Carmot Therapeutics. Carmot’s injection once a week is in the same category as Eli Lilly’s and Mounjaro’s or Zepbound’s.

The newly discovered drug candidate has completed trials in the early stages and is now ready to test on human beings in the third of three stages of trials, Roche said.

AMGEN

Amgen’s new obesity treatment, AMG133, in November, showed a median weight reduction of 14.5 percent over 12 weeks at its highest dosage of the month.

ALTIMMUNE

Altimmune, in November, stated that its drug’s candidate, pemvidutide, helped to reduce weight by 15.6 percent on average. It also maintained weight loss until the middle stage of the trial was concluded.

Patients also experienced vomiting and nausea with moderate and mild severity.

VIKING THERAPEUTICS

Viking Therapeutics said in February its drug of the moment, VK2735, helped patients suffering from obesity to get “significant” weight loss in an early-stage study.

VK2735 helped patients attain up to 14.7 percent weight loss in just 13 months of therapy, as per data from the study. The study included 176 overweight individuals who had at least one comorbidity relating to weight.

ZEALAND PHARMA

The Danish company, Zealand Pharma, and Boehringer-Ingelheim’s new weight loss treatment resulted in up to 14.9 percent weight loss during the middle stage of a trial in May.

OPKO HEALTHOpko Health has completed a trial in the mid-stage of its obesity treatment drug pegapamodutide. The drug is believed to be less prone to side negative effects.

STRUCTURE THERAPEUTICS

Structure Therapeutics and said its oral obesity medication experimental decreased weight by 6.2 percent on average by the end of 12 weeks in the mid-stage of a study.

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