This article was written by Nada Shalash and Santiago Hernandez.
Shares of Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk have grown nearly 50% in the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 and the health sector, as the pair lead the fast-growing obesity market known as the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest blockbuster. Lilly and Novo are now the #2 and #3 most important pharmaceutical companies in the world, with Lilly and Johnson & Johnson at #1 in June – the first time J&J has been ranked as the leading pharmaceutical company in 15 years. The growth of Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk has been driven by clinical breakthroughs in the obesity and weight-loss drug categories. Originally developed and brought successfully to the sugar market, Lilly and Novo have shown that their products, Mounjaro & Wegovy, respectively, bring significant weight loss benefits.
Obesity is the leading cause of death in the US and is increasing in other rapidly developing countries such as India and China. Bloomberg Intelligence expects the obesity market to reach its peak $44 billion by 2030. As a result, Lilly and Novo are rushing to bring their products to the market and expand their distribution, while other companies, who want to be part of the largest emerging market, are rushing to develop fat products to add to their products.
Although both Eli Lilly’s Tirzepatide and Novo’s Semaglutide have been approved for diabetes and have been used by millions of people, only Novo received FDA approval to market the drug for obesity and Lilly is expected to receive FDA approval by the end of the year. Although it was officially approved in June, Novo said struggle to increase its production to meet the demand for its anti-obesity product, called Wegovy, and has faced constant shortages, which led it to reconsider its launch in the international market.
Meanwhile, Lilly is awaiting full FDA approval to market Tirzepatide, marketed as Mounjaro, and has been busy strengthening its drug pipeline to ensure it can compete with Novo’s first chance and remain a major player years after Mounjaro’s launch. They recently released the results of an experimental obesity drug they have surrender strong weight loss effects of any drug yet. Lilly with him found obesity drug startup Versanis Bio for $2 billion, betting on an experimental drug that aims to help people lose weight while maintaining their muscle mass.
As Lilly and Novo drugs come to market, other players are trying to enter what is expected to be the largest BioPharma market in the last decade. Pfizer, hungry to find sustainable business after the decline of the epidemic of COVID-19 and the success of its vaccine, is rushing to develop an oral obesity drug that can compete with drugs from Lilly and Novo but it had to do so. stop one of the drugs that is growing due to safety. Amgen and Viking Therapeutics are also in the mix development their obesity drug, hoping to develop a drug that has the potential to compete with Lilly’s and Novo’s. Meanwhile, some pharmaceutical companies are hoping to figure out how to navigate post-pandemic and build sustainable businesses. For example, Johnson & Johnson drain its consumer healthcare business and hopes to streamline its portfolio and focus on high-growth products such as oncology offerings.