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Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy gets a surprise endorsement from Twitter’s soon-to-be owner Elon Musk

October 15, 2022
Life sciences

How do you solve a problem like Elon Musk? Well, when it comes to his weight, there seems to be a simple answer: Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy.

Musk, who runs several major companies including SpaceX and electric car firm Tesla and is now set—after a long legal tussle—to buy Twitter, said on the social media platform in response to a question about his recent weight loss that it was down to “Fasting” and, in a later tweet, “And Wegovy.”

Wegovy is Novo Nordisk’s injectable form of GLP-1 drug semaglutide, the ingredient in its diabetes franchise Ozempic and Rybelsus.

The FDA approved Wegovy last summer for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or who are overweight with at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol) with a BMI of 27 or more or in those with a BMI of 30 or greater in general.

While some nice free advertising for Novo, it isn’t clear whether Musk should, according to the drug’s approval, in fact be using the drug. For that reason, these kinds of unexpected endorsements can be a double-edged sword for companies.

In fact earlier this year, a report out by Variety claimed that a number of celebrities are paying big bucks to use Ozempic but in a slightly different dose to tap its weight-loss effects.

Musk is not a spokesperson for the company and a Novo Nordisk spokesperson told Fierce Pharma Marketing that “we were not aware of Elon Musk’s use of Wegovy before he shared this information publicly.”

Wegovy’s approval could be a boon for obesity drugs, which have been few and far between despite there being a potentially lucrative market.

Heart safety concerns have hampered many meds over the past 20 years, but Wegovy appears to be bucking the trend, and is set to become a blockbuster later this decade.

It does, however, have a potential rival in Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide, but just this month got a rolling submission off to the FDA for obesity. The drug was approved earlier this year for Type 2 diabetes approval and is branded as Mounjaro.

By Ben Adams


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