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New weight loss drug found to be as effective as a pill

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AnnOvo Nordisk A/S’s weight-loss drug semaglutide, sold as a once-weekly Vegovy shot, was as effective as the daily pill in one study.

The Danish drugmaker said people who were obese or overweight and had other health problems when prescribed to take the pill lost an average of 15.1% of their body weight, compared to a 2.4% loss in the group given a placebo. Hui. Both groups also made lifestyle changes.

About 85% of the semaglutide group lost 5% or more of their body weight, compared to about 26% on placebo. Gastrointestinal side effects were most common.

Martin Holst Lange, Novo’s executive vice president for development, said the results are comparable to a study with an injectable form of the drug. He said patients could potentially be offered a choice between a daily pill or a weekly shot.

Read more, What the Ozampic obsession misses about food and health

The dramatic success of the new class of weight-loss drugs has made Novo Europe’s second most valuable company behind luxury conglomerate LVMH. However, the company has struggled to make enough of its new drugs to meet demand.

A race is on to develop a weight loss pill that is as effective as existing injections. Pfizer Inc. published Positive mid-stage test results from its own pill, called danugliprone jama network on Monday. Pfizer’s study was smaller than Novo’s late-stage trial and focused on patients with type 2 diabetes.

Novo stock rose 2.7% in Copenhagen on Monday, but its American Depository Receipts declined in the US after the Pfizer publication.

According to Peter Wellford, a London-based analyst with Jefferies, the future of the Novo pill probably hinges on overcoming manufacturing constraints, particularly due to the large volume of the drug that is needed to dose by mouth. They wrote in a note that sales of the oral version of the drug could reach $8 billion annually.

Novo expects to file for regulatory approval for the pill in the US and EU this year. The company said a launch would depend on portfolio priorities and manufacturing capacity.

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