Beyond diabetes and obesity: Can GLP-1 therapies also transform chronic disease treatment?

[Adobe Stock]

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists like semaglutide and tirzepatide have cemented their status as two of the most successful drugs in recent memory. Recent projections have estimated that the drug class could fetch $44 billion by 2030 and $71 billion by 2032.

But GLP-1 sales could potentially reach greater heights as these therapies move beyond their established territories of diabetes and obesity and start tackling major conditions like chronic liver and kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart failure.

Promising clinical trial results highlight the potential of GLP-1s in an array of disease, including chronic kidney disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), various forms of heart failure and potentially even Alzheimer’s.

There are, however, hurdles, such as a relatively high rate of gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, which affect somewhere around 40–7…

Read more
  • 0

GLP-1 drugs could open a new frontier in NASH treatment

[Adobe Stock]

This morning, Eli Lilly reported positive phase 2 results for its dual GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonist tirzepatide in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In the SYNERGY-NASH trial, the therapy achieved NASH resolution without worsening fibrosis in 61.3% of patients. That is considerably higher than data for semaglutide.

Picturing tirzepatide’s NASH resolution in a phase 2 study

The bar graph below depicts the proportion of participants showing no worsening of liver fibrosis at 52 weeks with varying doses of tirzepatide compared to a placebo in the SYNERGY-NASH phase 2 study. See page 17 here for the data source.

google.charts.load('current', {packages: ['corechart', 'bar']}); google.charts.setOnLoadCallback(drawChart); function drawChart() { var data = google.visualization.arrayToDataTable([ ['Treatment', 'Perc…

Read more
  • 0

AstraZeneca faces profitability dip in Q3 2023 despite revenue bump; bets big on obesity

Cambridge, UK–based AstraZeneca continued its strong growth trajectory in Q3 2023, expanding its cardiometabolic and obesity pipeline with a focus on GLP-1 receptor agonists. In particular, AstraZeneca has a licensing agreement with Eccogene for ECC5004, a potential oral GLP-1RA for obesity and cardiometabolic conditions, represents the company’s strategic focus on this emerging therapeutic area, which Lilly and Novo Nordisk currently dominate.

Pascal Soriot, CEO of the company noted he was “excited” about the acceleration of the company’s cardiometabolic and obesity pipeline with the licensing agreement for ECC5004, “a potential best-in-class oral GLP-1RA.”

ECC5004 has an oral formulation, in contrast to Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy (semaglutide) and the recently approved Lilly’s Zepbound (tirzepatide), which are injectables. This oral GLP-1 receptor agonist could potentially improve patient compliance and accessibility in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes. While …

Read more
  • 0

Lilly’s Zepbound to enter the weight management market with competitive pricing

Lilly’s tirzepatide notched an FDA approval for chronic weight management, potentially clearly the way for billions in additional sales. Analysts have projected that the drug could fetch $26 billion in annual sales by 2030, with roughly two-thirds of that sum related to obesity​ treatment​. Bank of America analyst Geoff Meacham is even more optimistic, predicting that sales could hit $48 billion annually​.

The company is calling the obesity-branded version of the drug Zepbound, in contrast to Mounjaro, which won FDA approval for type 2 diabetes on May 13, 2022.  

Lily’s stock was up 3.20% to $619.13. Year-to-date, its share price is up almost 70%, in part as a result of strong sales prospects for tirzepatide. 

The table below outlines the starting cash prices for a range of GLP-1 receptor agonists. Lilly’s Zepbound, the obesity-branded version of tirzepatide, has a competitive starting price in the segment. With insurance, Zepbound could cost as lo…

Read more
  • 0

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

[Adobe Stock]

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…

Read more
  • 0

Tirzepatide versus semaglutide: Which contender will prevail in the battle against obesity and type 2 diabetes?

Eli Lilly‘s (NYSE:LLY) tirzepatide achieved up to 15.7% weight loss in the SURMOUNT-2 study, sparking a potential tirzepatide vs semaglutide competition in the obesity and type 2 diabetes treatment markets. The phase 3 study enrolled 938 participants with diverse backgrounds.

Tirzepatide promises to be a megablockbuster with a number of analysts pegging peak annual sales hitting $25 billion. Few drugs have surpassed the $20 billion threshold. One notable example is AbbVie’s monoclonal antibody Humira (adalimumab), which hit $21.2 billion in sales in 2022 and $20.7 billion a year earlier. The drug was the world’s bestseller until the COVID-19 pandemic stoked demand for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, whose cumulative annual sales hit $59.1 billion in 2021.

Lilly has signaled its plans to submit tirzepatide to the FDA, potentially leading to competition between tirzepatide and semaglutide in the obesity and type 2 diabetes treatment markets.

Tirzepatide&#…
Read more
  • 0