Amgen Stock: Is Weight-Loss Drug the Next Big Boon in Pharma?

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Amgen stock saw a decline on Monday, while Eli Lilly stock reached a new high following the announcement by Amgen that its experimental weight-loss drug demonstrated sustained results for up to 150 days.

In a study conducted by Amgen, patients received the same dosage of the weight-loss drug three times. At the highest dose, they experienced an average 8.2% reduction in body weight over 92 days. This is in comparison to the patients who received a placebo, who gained 1.7% more body weight over the same time period.

Another study tested increasing doses over time. The regimen that gradually increased to the highest dose resulted in a 14.5% weight loss over 85 days, compared to a 1.5% gain in the placebo group. The weight loss was sustained after 150 days.

However, all patients who received up to the highest dose in the second study reported experiencing nausea, and three-quarters of them also experienced vomiting. Despite these side effects being mild and resolving within 72 hours, half of the high-dose group dropped out of the study after the first dose.

Amgen’s results present the potential for the company to enter the weight-loss drugs market, currently dominated by industry leaders Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk. Both companies saw significant stock gains in reaction to the growing demand for obesity and diabetes medications.

The acquisition of Catalent by Novo Holdings for $11.5 billion also contributed to the surge in Novo Nordisk’s shares. With the help of Catalent, Novo Nordisk aims to enhance its production capacity to meet the increasing demand for weight-loss drugs.

While Amgen’s results are promising, the launch of an obesity treatment could still be years away, with analysts not expecting any sales until 2028. Nonetheless, Amgen stock is trading at a record high and is positioned well in the market.

It is clear that the weight-loss drugs market is expanding with increasing interest, leaving room for more competitors like Amgen. This sector presents a significant opportunity for companies to meet the demand for effective weight-loss medications and capitalize on the growing market.