With pharmaceutical weight loss solutions gaining ground, three of the industry’s biggest players are racing to grab a bigger piece of a market that is now worth $100 billion.
Market leader Novo Nordisk, for one, already has two approvals from the US Food and Drug Administration and is gunning for a third. As of press time, injectable obesity drug Wegovy and intravenous Type 2 diabetes treatment Ozempic which is used off-label for monitored weight loss are already on the market.
The third, the orally administered Type 2 diabetes tablet Rybelsus, is under further study for use as a means of effecting weight loss. Based on the results of Novo Nordisk’s Phase III trial for Rybelsus, the drug effectively reduced weight by 15% among participants but at a significantly higher dosage than standard.
Eli Lilly Steps Up Its Game
But Novo Nordisk needs to watch its back as its closest rival, Eli Lilly & Co, just announced the results of its Phase II trials for its own weight loss injectable retatrutide on Monday, June 26th. Clinical studies show that the drug enabled trial participants to lose up to 24% in body weight.
The company also presented the Phase II trial results for its oral solution orforglipron which delivered around 14.7% weight loss among participants.
Eli Lilly is also seeking approval for the off-label use of Mounjaro, its intravenous Type 2 diabetes drug, as a weight loss solution among overweight patients who don’t have diabetes.
What About Pfizer?
Surprisingly, global pharma titan Pfizer is lagging behind in the weight loss wars.
So far, the company has shifted its focus from its one-a-day weight loss drug lotiglipron to danuglipron, a medication that needs to be taken twice a day. Based on previous clinical trials, the former led to an increased risk of liver damage among participants.
Pfizer is now slated to bring danuglipron into Phase II testing to determine the most effective and safe dosage.