Amgen’s Progress on Obesity Drug Weighs on Novo Nordisk Shares

Shares of Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO) dipped as Amgen Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMGN) CEO expressed optimism regarding early results from an experimental obesity drug, raising concerns about heightened competition in the expanding market. The stock saw a decline of up to 5.3% following comments on Amgen’s MariTide, exacerbating Thursday’s 2.7% drop after Novo reported sales of its Wegovy weight-loss drug below analysts’ expectations.
The soaring sales of Wegovy and Ozempic have propelled Novo’s market capitalization beyond $500 billion this year, solidifying its position as Europe’s most valuable listed company. Since the beginning of 2020, Novo’s stock has surged more than fourfold.
Conversely, Amgen shares surged by 14% in premarket trading on Friday following CEO Robert Bradway’s remarks during a post-earnings conference call.
Meanwhile, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY), the manufacturer of the popular obesity drug Zepbound, experienced a 2.4% decline in trading before US markets opened.
The success of weight-loss drugs has catalyzed a rush within the pharmaceutical industry, with GLP-1 treatments anticipated to become one of the most lucrative segments in pharmaceutical history.
Several pharmaceutical companies are racing to enter this field due to the immense demand. AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) disclosed last year that a weight-loss pill it’s developing with China’s Eccogene could be priced lower than injections offered by competitors like Novo and Eli Lilly.
In February, Zealand Pharma, another Danish company, witnessed a significant surge in its stock after its partner, Boehringer Ingelheim, unveiled positive trial results for another weight-loss drug candidate, Survodutide.
Barclays Plc analyst Emily Field suggested that it’s premature to assess the competitive threat to Novo or Eli Lilly.
“As of today, we see no cause for concern regarding the competitive dynamics versus the market leaders,” Field wrote in a note. “We really will need to see the data.”