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Pfizer Stock Jumps After Diabetes Drug Tops Ozempic In Weight Loss
An oral drug from Pfizer (PFE) led to faster weight loss than weekly injections of Novo Nordisk's (NVO) diabetes blockbuster Ozempic, according to a paper released Monday. In response, Pfizer stock jumped.
Pfizer tested its experimental treatment in 411 adults with type 2 diabetes. Over 16 weeks, patients who took a high dose of Pfizer's drug, dubbed danuglipron, lost roughly 10 pounds. In comparison, recipients of high-dose Ozempic lost about that much over 30 weeks, according to Novo's Phase 3 study.
The results pit a possibly more convenient twice-daily pill against the household name Ozempic. Last year, Ozempic generated $8.55 billion in sales. This year, it's expected to bring in $12.19 billion, growing nearly 43%, FactSet shows. That's despite an ongoing shortage for semaglutide, the active ingredient behind Ozempic and obesity treatment Wegovy, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
On today's stock market, Pfizer stock popped 5.4% to close at 38.75. Novo Nordisk stock closed roughly flat at 170.52.
Pfizer Stock: Its Next Act In Obesity?
The results of Pfizer's study were first released in September. But the paper circulated by the Journal of the American Medical Association was the first look at the full peer-reviewed study. Pfizer stock rose on the initial news as well.
Pfizer's oral drug uses the same mechanism as Novo's Ozempic. Both mimic a hormone called GLP-1, or glucagon-like peptide-1. This gut hormone sends a signal to the brain when a person is full. It also has an impact on blood sugar, helping the pancreas release insulin.
Ozempic isn't a weight-loss drug, though it has become synonymous with the red-hot obesity treatment segment. Eli Lilly (LLY) also is testing its diabetes drug, Mounjaro, in patients with obesity. Further, Amgen (AMGN) and Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) are working in this area.
Novo Nordisk isn't resting on its laurels. Also Monday, the Danish pharma company said an oral version of semaglutide helped patients with obesity lose up to 17.4% of their body weight over 68 weeks. More than 89% of semaglutide recipients lost at least 5% of their body weight over the same time period.
But while Pfizer stock jumped closer to its 50-day moving average, Novo shares slipped Monday.