Top Anti-Obesity Drug Companies

Published: April 2024


Obesity is a silent killer; it increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and kidney malfunction. According to the World Health Organization report, in 2022, around 16% of adults aged 18 years and older across the globe were obese. It is no surprise that the sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits have pushed up the number of obese individuals, worldwide. Though pharmaceutical companies have developed a broad spectrum of therapeutic drugs to manage diabetes and other conditions that are associated with obesity, specific anti-obesitydrugs that help to fight against disease have catered to the attention of leading players. Owing to the growing research and development on weight loss drugs, it is estimated that the treatment of obesity with drugs is in the mainstream. Notably, in October 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration provided fast-track approval to Eli Lilly's anti-obesity drug.

The drug named Mounjaro®, which is already endorsed for the treatment of Type-2 diabetes, has received approval from the FDA. Furthermore, Novo Nordisk realizes the potential of glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) drugs that were earlier used as anti-diabetes medicine, which has led their research to tweak their drug formulation and use it for weight loss. The ongoing research of key players in this field will focus on developing cost-effective therapeutic drugs for obesity so people can live healthier and happier lives. Considering the ongoing pace of research, several stakeholders and investors are looking to make considerable investments in the development of anti-obese drugs. In this context, read below the top anti-obesity drug companies currently paving the way for the market to deliver novel solutions to initiate a fight against obesity.

How Does Anti-Obesity Pills Work?

The ongoing advancement and research for developing weight loss drugs have shown significant results in initiating the treatment of obesity. Anti-obesity drugs follow a different mechanism; some therapeutic drugs, such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, potentially mimic the hormone GLP-1 that helps control appetite and aid in weight loss.

Some weight loss drug formulations contain phentermine that reduces appetite while increasing metabolic rate, causing weight loss. Drugs like orlistat reduce fat absorption in the stomach, lower calorie intake, and promote weight reduction. Novo Nordisk's Wegovy/Ozempic (semaglutide) and Saxenda (liraglutide) are well-known weight reduction drugs that act on the GLP-1 hormone, boosting fullness and lowering food consumption. Eli Lilly's Mounjaro (tirzepatide) combines GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) hormones generated in the stomach to aid in weight loss.

Novo Nordisk, together with Ozempic and Wegovy, leads the weight control market.In the United States, Vivus Pharmaceuticals produced Qsymia, a combo medication that suppresses hunger and enhances metabolism. Orlistat (Xenical), manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland, inhibits fat absorption. Another US business, Orexigen Therapeutics, offers Contrave, a combo tablet that targets brain circuits to lessen cravings.

Anti-Obesity Drug Market

The battle against obesity is multifaceted and requires collaborative efforts from various industrial leaders and stakeholders. In March 2022, the World Health Organization published an article that indicates more than 1 billion individuals worldwide are suffering from obesity, out of which 650 million individuals are adults. Further, the World Health Organization estimated that by the year 2025, around 167 million people would suffer health issues due to obesity and being overweight. The growing awareness about the health risks associated with obesity has resulted in a significant demand for weight loss drugs. Pharmaceutical industrial leaders are raising their efforts to meet the demand for anti-obesity medications that focus on weight management and blood sugar level control. Companies that were first to market have an advantage since they are ahead of the competition and have made significant investments in their supply chains, making it harder for new entrants to enter the area. Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly aren't the only pharmaceutical companies aiming to target the youthful market. However, Morgan Stanley believes the two have a double monopoly on anti-obesity medications, with a dozen now in clinical development. However, competition for a part of this fast-growing industry is expected to continue to be fierce.

What are the Top Companies in Anti-obesity Drugs?

The anti-obesity drug market is witnessing several pharmaceutical leaders and investments, including Currax Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, F Hoffmann-La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, and Vivus. Below are listed some of the top anti-obesity drug companies that are increasing their efforts in the development of novel obesity drug solutions.

1. Novo Nordisk

Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk are the two renowned names in the weight loss drug developers today. Novo Nordisk has developed WeGovy / Ozempic (semaglutide), a therapeutic treatment for diabetes. This drug has been off-label for weight reduction, while Wegovy (semaglutide) is an actual anti-obesity drug developed by this company.

2. Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly has developed Zepbound (tirzepatide) to treat obesity. These GLP-1 agonists help control appetite and significantly help in weight reduction. However, the early clinical trial results of Zepbound suggest that this drug should be marketed under the name of Mounjaro for the treatment of diabetes and to help people achieve their goal of weight loss.

Additionally, tirezepatide in clinical studies has shown that 26.6% of patients lose weight within 84 weeks. The promising result percentage is more significant than Wegovy (a weight loss drug), which shows that 15% of individuals lose their weight in a short period of 68 weeks. However, the trajectory results are at an early stage, and companies are looking forward to making several challenges in the anti-obesity drug formulation to provide an effective treatment for weight management.

3. Pfizer

Pfizer is amongst the leading companies who are developing weight loss drugs to treat obesity patients. Currently, this pharmaceutical company is concentrating on the development of drugs that can contribute to weight management and help patients in reducing weight.

It is interesting to note here that, in December 2023, Pfizer announced the discontinuation of a twice-daily weight loss therapeutic drug as it was causing several adverse side effects on individuals. However, to address this concern, Pfizer continues their research and development activities on a once-daily version of the drug, namely danuglipron, that optimistically has shown fewer side effects and helps patients in weight management. The once-daily pill will emerge as a potential treatment option for individuals suffering from obesity. One of the significance of using a once-daily pill is people can consume them orally without undergoing injectable or surgical treatment.

Along with Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk increased their efforts to develop oral weight loss treatment. The pharmaceutical companies that produce safe and effective oral weight loss pills are considered the leading marketing forces in the long run. This is why investors should consider Pfizer's market potential quickly.

4. AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is another pharmaceutical company attempting to bring a weight-loss drug to the marketplace. While the business abandoned its GLP-1 drug candidate, cotadutide, in 2023, it continues pursuing weight-loss medicines. AstraZeneca said last month that it would acquire a license for ECC5004, an anti-obesity medicine, from Eccogene, a Chinese startup. The acquisition might be valued at as much as $2 billion. AstraZeneca claims that the drug they developed may not cause any adverse impact, as there are available injectables in the anti-obesity drug market today. If the clinical outcomes are truthful and promising, it can be a potential weight loss drug in the race to develop obesity treatment. However, the clinical trial results are still in the early stages, and weight loss drugs are entering phase II trials. Therefore, it is worth keeping an eye on the results.

5. Roche

Roche is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies that has acquired Carmot Therapeutics by making a considerable upfront payment of around USD 2.7 billion to conjointly develop weight loss drugs. However, the company can make another investment of USD 400 million if the company is able to achieve potential outcomes. Roche will purchase CT-388, a potential once-daily injectable through this deal. Currently, the weight loss  medicine is currently in early-stage studies and clinical studies are undergoing to enhance its effectiveness and safety to use on humans. While it might make further acquisitions to expedite its possibilities, investors may have yet to learn how powerful Roche is in the weight-loss industry for several years.

The Anti-obesity Drugs Stocks Performance in Last 12 Months

Pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk have shown promising results with their weight loss drugs, anticipating potential future outcomes. However, pharmaceutical companies still have to be fraught with several challenges ranging from pricing to side effects and competition. The growing anti-obesity  drugs market and emerging opportunities have catered to the attention of several players to develop innovative weight loss drugs. There will be considerable opportunities for the industry's key players to make massive investments to accelerate the research and development activities in this field.

Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, the efforts by the key industrial leaders to develop anti-obesity drugs continue to increase owing to the rising investment and demand for weight loss drugs. However, the majority of these anti-obesity drugs are currently under clinical trials and have shown significant promising results. The trajectory of positive outcomes will depend on constant research to reduce the adverse impact of these drugs. As a result of weight loss drugs, the pharmaceutical landscape continues to reshape the field, and its enduring legacy underscores the potential role of innovation, research, and ethical considerations. The claimant claims of the weight loss drugs have set a promising pathway to treat patients suffering from obesity. If the drugs pass clinical trials successfully, ray will be directed toward successfully treating obesity and its associated health conditions. Considering the top companies' research on anti obesity  drugs, the future seems bright, and the market will grow in the future.

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References

  1. https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/obesity-drugs-have-blockbuster-potential-novo-lilly-and-pfizer-risks-reputation-and
  2. https://www.investors.com/news/technology/weight-loss-drugs-to-watch-rivals-ramp-up-to-unseat-the-undisputed-leaders/
  3. https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/deep-dive/story/why-pharma-majors-are-rushing-to-put-anti obesity -drugs-on-indian-shelves-410620-2023-12-23
  4. https://www.morningstar.com/stocks/obesity-drug-stocks-where-invest-now
  5. https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/obesity-drugs-investment-opportunity

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