Novo Nordisk shares soar 8% on promising weight reduction trial outcomes; Eli Lilly dips

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Novo Nordisk shares climbed 8% on Thursday, hitting a fresh record high after the Danish pharmaceutical giant reported positive early trial data for a new experimental weight loss drug.

The company told an investor meeting that the Phase I trial of its highly-anticipated obesity drug amycretin showed a 13.1% weight loss in participants after 12 weeks, according to Reuters. This reading eclipses the 6% loss recorded after a 12-week trial for the company’s wildly popular obesity drug Wegovy.

A Phase II trial will begin in the second half of this year, with results expected in early 2026, the company said.

Shares of Novo Nordisk, Europe’s largest company by market cap, have gained more than 27% since the turn of the year as the pharmaceuticals giant continues to reap the benefits of rampant demand for its flagship Wegovy and Ozempic anti-obesity drugs.

Earlier this week, Novo reported late-stage trial results showing that Ozempic cut the risk of kidney disease progression and death from kidney or cardiovascular complications by 24% in diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease.

The results added to mounting evidence of the broader health benefits associated with Ozempic and similar drugs, beyond weight loss and Type 2 diabetes treatment.

“Despite competitor read outs in the last few weeks (Zealand, Viking), today’s capital markets day from Novo Nordisk shows they are not sitting still and preparing already for a life after Ozempic,” said Yuri Khodjamirian, chief investment officer at Tema ETFs.

“As we always say, safety will be key and Novo are waiting to see results of the subcutaneous formulation before making a clinical plan. Overall, we think this bolsters Novo’s position as it now has several follow up agents to Ozempic/Wegovy, where the patent expires in 2031/32, led by Cagrisema and now Amycretin, to help evergreen their obesity franchise.”

Shares of American rival Eli Lilly were down 0.8% in morning trade on the back of the news.

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