Roche enters red-hot metabolic disease market with Carmot Therapeutics acquisition

Swiss pharma giant Roche had a limited presence in metabolic disease, but the firm has agreed to take over obesity drug developer Carmot Therapeutics for $2.7 billion, rivaling the dominance of next-gen obesity drug developers Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.

Carmot had been a rising star in biotech, attracting significant funding, including a $150 million Series E financing round in May 2023. The startup, having raised almost $385 million in total funding, had even flirted with an initial public offering (IPO) under the ticker CRMO., a rarity in the current climate.

CT-388 a valuable asset

Carmot’s lead asset is CT-388, a once-weekly injectable dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist for obesity, which has shown upbeat weight loss results in a phase 1b study. In the study, participants experienced more than 8% weight loss at 4 weeks. The drug candidate also appeared to be well-tolerated. In the study, The therapy demonstrated substantial weight loss compared to other…

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Eli Lilly’s obesity focus helps propel promising 2023

2023 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for Eli Lilly. With the company’s stock soaring by almost 54% since the beginning of the year, analysts are largely upbeat about Lilly’s expanded focus on obesity and diabetes treatments. While the company has developed insulin for a century, the company is now broadening its horizons with Mounjaro (tirzapetide), a diabetes treatment used off-label for obesity. An FDA approval for tirzapatide, a dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist, in obesity could occur later this year.

While Lilly has seen its stock surge in 2023 thus far, its performance over the past month hasn’t been as robust — declining by close to 6% over the past month.


“We continue to be pleased with the strong momentum of Mounjaro as more type 2 diabetes patients benefit from the medicine,” said Dave Ricks, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly, in the company’s second quarter earnings call. In fact, despite ramping up produ…

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