Will GLP-1 drugs transition from obesity and diabetes to diverse clinical indications?

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The explosive sales growth of GLP-1 drugs has analysts projecting that the antiobesity drugs could be a $44 billion market by 2030. Some observers are more upbeat, projecting that the sector could be worth more than $100 billion in the coming years. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla projects that the market will reach $90 billion by 2031 with oral GLP-1 therapies contributing to the growth, Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

But what if those figures are too low? While hurdles remain in terms of the drugs’ side effect profiles and payer backing, anti-obesity drugs could potentially find use for other conditions, concludes Truist director Dr. Joon Lee in a briefing note not specifically mentioning sales projections for the sector. In the long run, the drug class could find use not just for obesity but for conditions associated with elevated body weight. Examples run the gamut from neurodegenerative conditions s…

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Pfizer drops one weight loss drug, bets on another

Pfizer has made a strategic decision in the battle against obesity and diabetes. The pharmaceutical giant has chosen to discontinue its GLP-1 RA candidate, lotiglipron, to focus resources on the development of another – danuglipron. This Pfizer weight loss drug is now the lead candidate in late-stage trials for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. The decision comes after the discovery of elevated liver enzyme levels in some early trial patients for lotiglipron. However, similar concerns have not arisen with danuglipron.

The shift comes as the company aims to tap full receptor agonism for potential robust efficacy, capitalizing on its small molecule design expertise. With more than 1,400 patients already enrolled, the clinical trial results could potentially expand the treatment options for adults with obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Already, GLP drugs semaglutide and tirzapatide are beginning to reshape the way we treat obesity.

Novo Nordisk’s sema…

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The 50 best-selling pharmaceuticals of 2022: COVID-19 vaccines poised to take a step back

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the best-selling pharmaceuticals, leading to shifts in the list with Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty surpassing AbbVie’s Humira for the No. 1 spot in 2021. That momentum continued in 2022, with Pfizer and BioNTech jointly raking in $59.1 billion in revenue from the sales of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although Comirnaty maintained its position as the best-selling pharmaceutical of 2022, it experienced a roughly 5% drop in sales compared to the previous year.

As the best-selling pharmaceuticals of 2022 demonstrate, signs are emerging that the reign of COVID-19 vaccines and  other therapies appears to be slipping.. The two companies — and Moderna — plan on hiking prices to address the weakening demand.

Humira: The second best-selling pharmaceutical of 2022 looking strong

Meanwhile, the heavyweight tumor necrosis factor (TNF) block…

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Looking back at two decades of CGM advances

FreeStyle Libre 2 from Abbott

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have transformed how many people with diabetes manage blood sugar, but attempts to monitor blood glucose have a long history.

Attempts to manage glucose kicked off in earnest when researchers began measuring glucose in urine in the mid-1800s. Scientists’ ability to do so steadily improved over the years, but urine glucose testing wasn’t commercialized until 1908, establishing a foundation for diabetes care. 

Elkhart, Ind.-based Ames Company refined the process in 1945 with the introduction of Clinitest reagent tablets, which are still commercially available, albeit from Bayer (ETR: BAYN). The company would introduce the first blood glucose test strip in 1965. The Dextrostix-branded strips were intended for use in doctors’ offices. 

In the 1970s, Ames developed a device known as the Ames Reflectance Meter to measure reflected light from a Dextrostix strip. It was the first blood glucose mete…

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