Nov. 28, 2022 – Yet a class of drug known as GLP-1 analogues sold by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly appears to be almost as good. The U.S. group’s Mounjaro, for example, reduced patients’ weight by more than 20% in a recent trial. The drugs target receptors in the brain that reduce appetite and help people feel fuller for longer.

Analysts reckon Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy drug will bring in nearly $9 billion in revenue by 2030 while Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro could generate $21 billion in sales by 2030, according to Visible Alpha. By then, the obesity market could total $50 billion, according to Morgan Stanley. That explains why Novo Nordisk’s share price has doubled in the past two years and it trades on 28 times forward earnings, nearly twice the European average.

The two leaders may not stay ahead for long. Pfizer (PFE.N), a $276 billion giant, and $206 billion AstraZeneca (AZN.L) are working on obesity products. And any drugmaker hoping to grab some of the pie could buy up biotechs like $1.4 billion Zealand Pharma (ZELA.CO) or $447 million Altimmune (ALT.O). It helps that the technology behind GLP-1s is already used in diabetes care, making it easier for new entrants to muscle in. Greater competition will drive down prices.

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