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Pharmaceutical Giants Eye Billions in Obesity Market, Challenging Novo and Lilly Dominance

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Amgen Inc (AMGN) and Pfizer Inc (PFE) are making bold moves to tap into the potential goldmine of the obesity market, where Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) and Eli Lilly And Co (LLY) currently reign supreme.


At the JPMorgan health conference, Amgen revealed plans for an experimental dual mechanism obesity drug in mid-stage trials, challenging the status quo in this lucrative arena.


See Also: Pfizer’s Aggressive Stance In Obesity Drugs: CEO Albert Bourla Confirms Bold Bet Despite Prior Drug Hurdles


Amgen showcased its ambitious efforts, with a Phase 2 study for MariTide (maridebart cafraglutide) and the development of AMG 786 oral small molecule, both set to deliver data readouts by late 2024 and 1H 2024, respectively.


Citing Amgen Chief Scientific Officer Jay Bradner, Reuters reported the company’s aspiration to create a product with reduced side effects and less frequent dosing compared to market leaders, Wegovy and Zepbound, developed by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, respectively.


Collaborating with Danish biotech Zealand Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim is pioneering an obesity treatment targeting GLP-1 and glucagon, aimed at suppressing appetite and increasing energy expenditure, while Merck & Co Inc and Altimmune Inc are developing similar drugs, adding to the competitive scramble in the sector.


Despite the hurdles posed by Novo and Lilly’s advanced-stage obesity drugs, Bayer AG (BAYRY) and Pfizer are resilient in their pursuit to venture into this market, with Bayer emphasizing its openness to partnerships and Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, reaffirming the company’s commitment to the obesity segment.


Beyond the primary focus on obesity, these companies are exploring additional health benefits of these drugs, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and addressing obstructive sleep apnea.


The pharmaceutical landscape is witnessing a seismic shift as these industry heavyweights vie for a piece of the $100 billion obesity market, setting the stage for an intense battle of innovation and market disruption.

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