Novo Nordisk raises outlook fuelled by obesity drug demand – ET HealthWorld | Pharma

by maggie fick

London: Novo Nordisk raised its 2024 outlook on Thursday and outperformed expectations quarterly profit As the Danish drugmaker races to increase production of its hugely popular drug weight loss medicine wegovy and prevent competition from rivals Eli Lilly,

Senior Vice President Nigel Morris told Reuters this week that the company has quadrupled its US supply of initial doses of Wegovi since December.

He said at least 20,000 new US patients are starting to receive weekly injections each week, reflecting the company’s efforts to increase production.

The modest uptick in outlook and forecast-beating results underscore Wegovi’s success and Novo’s lead in the fast-growing obesity drug market.

Novo’s growth, fueled by the unprecedented success of Wegovi, has nevertheless been constrained by its ability to meet the massive demand for weekly injections.

The company is also facing tough competition from American rival Eli Lilly during its launch zepbound Therapy in new markets. It launched in the United States in December and in Germany, Poland and the UK this year.

The company said it now expects sales growth Local currencies have appreciated between 19 percent and 27 percent this year, compared to the earlier guided range of 18 percent to 26 percent appreciation.

Operating profit growth this year is now seen between 22 percent to 30 percent in local currencies, up slightly from its previous forecast of 21 percent to 29 percent.

Novo reported first-quarter earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) of 31.8 billion Danish crowns ($4.57 billion), more than the 29 billion forecast by analysts in an LSEG poll this week and up 27 percent from a year earlier. .

Sales of Novo’s obesity care products, including Wegovi, rose 41 percent in local currencies to 11 billion crowns in the first quarter.

Wegovi’s sales totaled 9.4 billion Danish crowns between January and March, down from 9.6 billion crowns in the previous quarter and up 107 percent in local currencies from the same quarter a year earlier.

The boost to starter US doses comes as the company spends billions to boost production of Wegovi and meet exploding demand.

A year ago, Novo began limiting the number of U.S. patients who can start treatment by reducing its supply of the weekly injection of the appetite suppressant to as few as three doses.

In January, Novo said supplies of lower-strength or “starter” Vegov doses in the U.S. that month were more than double compared to recent weeks. Still, shortages persist in the US.

($1 = 6.9610 Danish crowns)

(Reporting by Maggie Fick; Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen and Patrick Wingerov in New York; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Josephine Mason;)

  • Published on May 2, 2024 at 05:57 pm IST

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