Novo Nordisk’s GLP-1 empire is on the ascent, courtesy of its diabetes stalwarts Ozempic and Rybelsus, plus its newly-approved obesity drug Wegovy. With momentum building—and facing “substantial” demand for its new weight loss med—the Danish drugmaker is dialing up its performance forecast for the year, CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said Wednesday.
During the first six months of 2021, Novo’s diabetes and obesity sales grew 13% at constant exchange rates, clocking in at 56.9 billion Danish kroner ($9.05 billion), the company said in an earnings release.
Sales for the company’s GLP-1 arsenal, which includes Ozempic and its oral counterpart Rybelsus, leapt 30% at constant currencies.
Meanwhile, sales in obesity care jumped 34% at constant currencies for the six-month period, Novo said. While Novo didn’t break out sales for new weight-loss drug Wegovy, Jefferies analysts estimated the med generated between DKK 250 million and DKK 300 million ($40 million to $48 million) after its approval in early June.
Initial demand for the drug in the U.S. has “exceeded supply,” Jefferies analysts wrote. That’s resulted in temporary delays on the filling of some prescriptions, the Jefferies team said.
But on the flip side, the “initial substantial demand” helped the company raise its expectations for the rest of the year, CEO Jørgensen said in a statement.
Overall sales for the first half of the year landed at 66.8 billion Danish Kroner ($10.63 billion), signaling a 12% jump over the same period last year. With the performance, Novo expects to chart 10% to 13% sales growth for the full year versus the 6% to 10% it had previously predicted.
While Rybelsus sales grew during the quarter, the med failed to meet consensus analyst expectations. Analysts had estimated the drug would pull in DKK 1.17 billion ($190 million) while it actually generated DKK 950 million ($150 million), the Jefferies team wrote.
by Fraiser Kansteiner
UCB (Euronext: UCB) and Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which UCB would acquire Zogenix, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing therapies for rare diseases.
argenx SE, a global immunology company committed to improving the lives of people suffering from severe autoimmune diseases, announced that Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved VYVGART™ (efgartigimod alfa) intravenous infusion for the treatment of adult patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) who do not have sufficient response to steroids or non-steroidal immunosuppressive therapies (ISTs).
GSK has rejected three offers from Unilever to buy GSK’s consumer health unit, the company said Saturday. The latest offer from the fellow U.K. consumer goods giant, received Dec. 20 for a total value of 50 billion pounds ($68 billion), “fundamentally undervalued” the business and its prospects, GSK said.