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Amgen’s MariTide Emerges as a Potential Challenger to Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in the Weight Loss Drug Market

The weight loss drug market, currently dominated by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, is on the verge of facing competition from a new rival, Amgen. Amgen is part of a group of drugmakers racing to enter the market with their own weight loss treatments. The company’s drug, MariTide, offers some advantages over its competitors. It is taken less frequently than Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Eli Lilly’s Zepbound, and it may cause longer-lasting weight loss. Additionally, Amgen has the advantage of being able to produce drugs at scale due to its large manufacturing footprint.

Analysts believe that Amgen has a real shot at disrupting the weight loss drug market and challenging the dominance of Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk. The company’s shares have already seen a 12% increase since the CEO expressed optimism about the ongoing trials for MariTide.

Amgen is not the only company trying to break into the market. Viking Therapeutics, Altimmune, Structure Therapeutics, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Zealand Pharma are also making progress in developing their own weight loss treatments. Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are working on new drugs as well.

While the competition in the weight loss market has grown more fierce in recent months, the demand for weight loss drugs is expected to continue to rise. Despite intermittent supply shortages and limited insurance coverage, there is still room for new entrants in a market projected to reach $100 billion by the end of the decade.

Amgen appears to have a competitive edge due to the less frequent dosing of MariTide. The drug can be taken once a month or even less frequently, which is more convenient for patients compared to the weekly injections currently on the market. This may also result in fewer side effects and better patient adherence to the treatment.

MariTide has shown sustained weight loss in clinical trials, and analysts believe that patients can take the drug even less frequently, such as once a quarter, to maintain the weight loss they achieved. Amgen is already expanding its manufacturing capacity for MariTide, indicating its confidence in the drug’s potential success.

Other companies are also making progress in developing weight loss treatments. Novo Nordisk is studying CagriSema, a combination of semaglutide (the active ingredient in Wegovy) and an experimental drug called cagrilintide. Eli Lilly is studying retatrutide, which mimics three different hunger-regulating hormones. Boehringer Ingelheim and Zealand Pharma are developing a weekly weight loss injection called survodutide. AstraZeneca is working on a daily obesity pill called ECC5004, and Pfizer is awaiting new data on its once-daily obesity pill.

Smaller biotech companies like Viking Therapeutics, Altimmune, and Structure Therapeutics are also showing promise in their weight loss drug pipelines. While they may have fewer resources and manufacturing capacity compared to larger companies, they could potentially be acquired by larger drugmakers in the future.

Overall, the weight loss drug market is becoming increasingly competitive with several companies vying to challenge the dominance of Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly. Amgen’s MariTide has the potential to disrupt the market with its less frequent dosing and longer-lasting weight loss. However, it will still take several years for MariTide and other experimental medicines to reach patients.

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