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Breakthrough weight-loss treatments spark fierce competition among pharma giants

Zealand Pharma and Boehringer Ingelheim recently announced positive trial results for their weight-loss treatment, signaling their entry into the global obesity drug market. With estimates projecting the market to reach $100 billion within a decade, several companies are vying to develop the next breakthrough weight-loss therapy. Let's take a look at some of the key players in this race.

Novo Nordisk: Novo Nordisk's Wegovy, a weekly injection approved in 2021, mimics a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), inducing a feeling of fullness after eating. Wegovy is considered safer and more effective than the company's previous weight-loss product, Saxenda. Novo Nordisk has been coping with high demand by halving the supply of Wegovy starter doses in the United States.

Eli Lilly: Eli Lilly's diabetes treatment, Mounjaro (tirzepatide), has shown promising results in a large trial. People with type 2 diabetes who were overweight or obese lost nearly 16% of their body weight while using the drug. U.S. approval for weight loss is expected later this year. Tirzepatide activates the body's receptors for gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1, which play important roles in appetite regulation.

Pfizer: Pfizer, in collaboration with Sosei Heptares, is testing an experimental oral GLP-1 drug called PF-07081532 in a mid-stage trial for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity. The company plans to enroll patients who have already used Wegovy or Mounjaro in their late-stage trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of switching to Pfizer's oral alternative.

Amgen: Amgen's obesity drug candidate, AMG133, showed promising results in an early-stage trial, with a mean weight loss of 14.5% after 12 weeks of treatment. AMG133 has a dual mechanism targeting GLP-1 and GIP. The company plans to conduct a larger mid-stage study this year.

Altimmune: Altimmune's experimental obesity drug, pemvidutide, demonstrated an average weight reduction of over 10% in a mid-stage trial. However, some safety concerns were identified, including mild to moderate nausea and vomiting. Pemvidutide is a dual-action drug that targets GLP-1 and mimics another gut hormone called glucagon, which aids fat burning during exercise and prevents fat buildup in the liver.

Viking Therapeutics: Viking Therapeutics' obesity drug, VK2735, achieved up to a 6% mean weight reduction in an early-stage study. The company plans to test higher doses over an extended treatment period in a mid-stage trial and expects results from an early-stage extension study evaluating oral doses by mid-year. VK2735 is another dual-action drug targeting GLP-1 and GIP receptors.

Zealand Pharma: Zealand Pharma and Boehringer Ingelheim's experimental obesity treatment, BI 456906, achieved weight loss of up to 14.9% in a mid-stage trial. Like other drugs, BI 456906 targets GLP-1 and GIP receptors.

Opko Health: Opko Health has completed a mid-stage trial of its obesity drug, pegapamodutide, which is expected to have fewer side effects compared to current GLP-1 drugs that can cause nausea and vomiting. Opko has partnered with China's LeaderMed for development and sales in the country and is also in talks with major Western drugmakers for potential partnerships.

Conclusion: The race for effective weight-loss drugs is intensifying as companies strive to tap into the growing obesity drug market, which is predicted to reach $100 billion in the coming years. With positive trial results and potential approvals on the horizon, these companies are taking steps toward providing individuals struggling with weight loss more treatment options in the future.

Ready to take control of a weight loss journey? Schedule an appointment at Cline Medical Group today and explore the latest advancements in weight-loss treatments. Our experienced team is here to support you on your path to a healthier you. Don't wait, start your transformation now:

Prescription medications, including the weight loss drugs discussed above, require a consultation with one of our licensed healthcare providers at Cline Medical Group. During the consultation, our healthcare provider will assess your suitability as a candidate and provide a thorough review of the benefits and potential side effects before prescribing any medication. Please note that individual results may vary, and it is important to follow the guidance of our healthcare professionals for safe and effective treatment. Terms and conditions may apply.

The information provided on this website is for informational purposes and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to your doctor.


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