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Novo Nordisk's innovative oral, long-acting GLP-1 | Mr. Business Magazine

In the initial stages of testing, Novo Nordisk’s innovative oral, long-acting GLP-1 and amylin weight loss drug has demonstrated safety and efficacy in a phase 1 trial, prompting plans for an expanded development strategy, according to Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President and Head of Development. During an earnings call for the fourth quarter, Lange refrained from providing specific details on amycretin’s effectiveness but emphasized that the decision to broaden the development plan indicates a distinct differentiation from existing competitors in the market.

As a pioneer in the weight loss sector, Novo Nordisk faces increasing competition, with rivals such as Eli Lilly gaining approval for Zepbound in the same indication. Notably, major pharmaceutical players like Pfizer are also entering the arena. Amycretin, designed as a single molecule, aims to replicate the effects of CagriSema, a combination treatment involving the obesity and weight-loss drug semaglutide and the amylin analogue cagrilintide. The oral formulation is intended for once-daily use, distinguishing it from the once-weekly regimen of CagriSema.

Phase 1 Trial:

Novo Nordisk has further diversified its approach by initiating a phase 1 trial in September to test a subcutaneous version of amycretin, providing additional options for patients. Lange emphasized the importance of differentiation in terms of efficacy for both the subcutaneous and oral formulations, asserting that the preliminary data for amycretin instills confidence in its potential.

Addressing the differentiation aspect, Lange clarified that it involves the data competing effectively with CagriSema. Novo Nordisk’s robust pipeline has been fueled by a substantial increase in research and development (R&D) spending, buoyed by the success of semaglutide sales. R&D expenses surged by 35% in 2023 compared to the previous year, mirroring a 36% increase in sales at constant exchange rates. The fourth quarter witnessed an investment of 10.5 billion Danish kroner (approximately $1.5 billion) in R&D, constituting 15.9% of sales.

Amycretin Phase 1 Trial:

In summary, Novo Nordisk’s promising phase 1 trial results for the amycretin weight loss drug have set the stage for an expanded development plan, reflecting the company’s commitment to innovation and differentiation in the competitive landscape of weight loss treatments. 

Novo Nordisk’s oral, long-acting GLP-1 and amylin weight loss drug has shown promise in a phase 1 trial, prompting plans for expanded development. Although specific efficacy details were withheld, Martin Holst Lange, Head of Development, emphasized differentiation from competitors. The drug, amycretin, is a single-molecule alternative to CagriSema, targeting obesity. Novo Nordisk faces rising competition in the weight loss market, with rivals like Eli Lilly gaining approval for Zepbound. Amycretin’s once-daily oral version and a subcutaneous alternative are being explored, showcasing Novo’s commitment to innovation and differentiation in response to the evolving pharmaceutical landscape.

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