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Novo Nordisk, Lilly facing increased competition in obesity drug market

Jun. 04, 2023 2:53 PM ETEli Lilly and Company (LLY), NVO, AMGN, PFEBy: Val Brickates Kennedy, SA News Editor46 Comments
Indianapolis - April 2016: Eli Lilly and Company V


While Novo Nordisk (NVO) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) will likely rule the obesity drug market for the next decade, rivals such as Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) could soon be snacking on their

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Comments (46)

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emcsqard profile picture
“Since the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites, eat one thing on your plate at a time, at least at the start of the meal when you can concentrate and enjoy the full flavors.”
~ Mireille Guiliano
For this "drug" and others, how much of their base ingredients are sourced in China???

rickevantodd profile picture
I did not see any mention of the side effects of taking these drugs. Does anyone know?

rickevantodd profile picture
@Keops Thank you for the follow-up. I would rather be 20 pounds overweight!
Purewater profile picture
@rickevantodd If you stop the drug, you apparently gain back all the weight plus more.
Where Boehringer/Zealand? Tirzepatide is a dual GIP/GLP1 agonist, not just a GLP1 agonist. Actually changing all my patients to dulaglutide, because Semaglutide is not available. Supply guarantee first to patients
@medullaoblongata Amgen's drug is also a dual GIP/GLP-1 agonist. It is in Phase 2 clinical trials.
How many days does it take to get approval? Amgen looks like the one next in the line.
09 Jun. 2023
@ritholtz47 PFE is ahead of AMGN I believe, not 100% sure
Investor since ‘73 profile picture
Obesity is either a direct or closely correlated contributor to a huge percentage of diseases causing unmeasurable pain and suffering. It also cuts millions of lives decades short. It’s a major reason why healthcare accounts for about 20% of our GDP.

LLY has been, by far my best investment of the past 12 months and the best is yet to come.
emcsqard profile picture
@Investor since ‘73
True what you say, but the cost of these drugs puts them out of the reach for those with the most need. Maybe competition will bring the cost down for the masses, improving their chances for better health.
Hiwehe profile picture
@emcsqard let them eat cake
Investor since ‘73 profile picture
@emcsqard I expect the prices will come down not only because of competition but because once obesity is finally recognized as the health hazard that it is, these meds will be covered by Medicare and now, for the first time, our healthcare system can actually negotiate the prices of approved drugs.
04 Jun. 2023
NVO and LLY have first-mover advantage which people tend not to give enough credit. Not only are their drugs already saturating the market, their research into even better versions is likely much further along.

Both are expensive, but I believe it is deserved. I'm long NVO.
Eliquis was the 3rd DOAC to the market and now as 75%+ share with annual sales over $12 billion. If memory serves correctly Lipitor was the 3rd or 4th statin and eventually grossed well over $100 billion during its patent life. There is a lot of luck involved with medicines, as well as good marketing. Eliquis won with marginally better safety, but good enough because the safety measure is severe bleeding. Lipitor won with better efficacy because efficacy measure was CVD. With these weight loss meds, I think concessions to insurance companies will play a big part of market share until comparative outcomes studies of high value measures like CVD are done.
financeminister profile picture
Is this why fatsos are now a protected class?
@financeminister time to invest in Pepsi!!!!
Save some money and cut back on eating. Plus don't eat all this garbage processed "food"?
@D. Rockefeller silly comment. These drugs highlight that overweight folks have a significant biochemical difference that can be mediated. In fact, these drugs also help curb cravings for gambling, smoking and drinking. It's really powerful, impactful stuff.
SeriousUsername profile picture
@quakerpop Gaslighting and excuses.
From a financial standpoint it makes more sense to invest in anti obesity drugmakers than say peloton or gyms, but I wish it werent so.
People are just lazy and dont want to take responsibility.
Everybody just wants pills to solve all their problems.
@SeriousUsername wrong across the board. Some people can have a drink or play the tables. for some it ruins their lives. Some people are satiated by "normal" portions of food, some have an impulse to keep eating long after basic caloric needs are met. fighting back against that urge takes a much greater effort than for a normal weight person, which is time consuming and stressful. These drugs kill that urge to eat more than the body's basic caloric need and remarkably, they also help to curb the urge to drink to excess and potentially to gamble to excess...indicating that there are actual structures in the brain that promote addiction and excess that can actually be curbed. Is it possible to lose weight with exercise and diet? Absolutely....however the statistics on how many lose weight and keep it off are damning. If these drugs help, then i don't see the issue. It's a massive breakthrough. Oh, and by the way, I'm 5'11 and 175'. I'm not a candidate, so this isn't about me. I do respect the science however.
NVO is not standing still.
Who has next shot at the weight lost drug? Surprised Merk is no doing anything. They had a obesity drug before.
04 Jun. 2023
@ritholtz47 Merck's biggest focus has been capitalizing on Keytruda and oncology generally which is a big change for it, as it has historically been more focused on other health issues.
grok42 profile picture
@ritholtz47 Zealand Pharma has several weight loss drugs in their pipeline including GLP-1.
The drug companies should all be acquiring fast food chains and soft drink manufacturers. The synergy with their obesity drugs would be amazing. They could even package free samples with Happy Meals, 12-packs of Coke, etc. Why are they not doing this?
@HPBunker you misunderstand the method of action. These drugs cure cravings for unhealthy foods and make people unable to eat more than a little bit before they get nauseous. It basically curbs the interest in food. It's actually bearish for junk food companies. I think everyone in the country should be on this stuff
Guy Whitehead profile picture
@quakerpop not unhealthy foods. Excess foods period. Although perhaps excess could be defined as unhealthy.
@Guy Whitehead correct, but not entirely. They even make unhealthy foods like cake become unappealing after a few bites. It isn't just hunger cues - from what I've read, it actually takes the joy out of eating foods like cakes, cookies, etc. They simply just don't taste as good.
i find the first sentence of the article (which is also the thesis) to be contradictory and hard to reconcile.
2959 profile picture
LLY maybe approval by the end of the year. Meanwhile NVO keeps on trucking with already approved products. Can’t wait for the trail results with semaglutide and the possible slowing/reduction of Alzheimer’s.
Et20 profile picture
Kind of strange to speculate on drugs not yet approved 10 years out.
04 Jun. 2023
@Et20 Not really; par for the course in pharmaceuticals. The biggest 20 or so pharma companies have deep pipelines with promising technology that can be 'gamed out' a decade ahead.
In a few years do they gain it back, as usual? On the drug for life? Nothing is with out side effects or negative effects.
@RWilliam Yes, generally you regain the weight if you stop the drug. Similar to a drug for high blood pressure. If you stop that drug, your high blood pressure returns.

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