Novo’s year of obesity
Six clinical readouts in 2020 will reveal whether obesity is a future growth driver for Novo
Novo Nordisk is set to deliver six clinical readouts in obesity in 2020. If successful, they could deliver Novo an opportunity to dramatically expand a mostly untapped market that could become a major future growth driver for the company.
Novo is trying to deliver change in obesity, an indication that’s proven harder to crack than it should be, given the amount of biology known and the significant patient population.
Small molecule approaches over the last 30 years have either been plagued by safety issues or lack of meaningful efficacy, leading patients to discontinue therapy. The regulatory requirements for pre- and postmarket CV outcomes trials (CVOT) have discouraged investment and led to the downfall of several obesity candidates. And a lack of payer buy-in on reimbursement and low physician understanding of obesity as a disease of its own have been a commercial stumbling block.
The companies that brought the first obesity drugs to market have struggled to turn approved therapies into commercial successes. Last month, Eisai Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4523) withdrew anti-obesity