Amgen taking completely different path to weight reduction windfall – ET HealthWorld | Pharma


Thousand Oaks: The recognition of a brand new technology of weight-loss medicines is inspiring a rising variety of drugmakers to pursue paths emulating Eli Lilly’s highly-effective Zepbound, however Amgen is taking a novel strategy.

Zepbound, which promotes essentially the most weight reduction amongst remedy choices presently in the marketplace, stimulates two completely different intestine hormones to combat weight problems, GLP-1 and GIP.

Amgen’s most superior experimental candidate prompts GLP-1 whereas blocking GIP. It says its aim is faster weight reduction, much less frequent dosing and presumably higher weight upkeep.

At stake is a slice of an weight problems market some analysts forecast might attain as a lot as $150 billion a 12 months, and a major enhance to Amgen’s present income development forecast.

GLP-1, which releases insulin from the pancreas and promotes emotions of fullness, was first studied for diabetes, resulting in Novo Nordisk‘s profitable GLP-1 drug Ozempic, which beneath the model title Wegovy is the top-selling remedy for weight reduction.

Lilly’s Zepbound, which can be offered as Mounjaro for kind 2 diabetes, is shortly catching as much as Wegovy.

Amgen stated its drug, maridebart cafraglutide, or MariTide, was developed after genetic inhabitants information from its deCode genetics unit linked decreased exercise of the GIP receptor to decrease fats mass and physique weight.

Scientists say a lot continues to be unknown about how completely different hormones work together to have an effect on urge for food and metabolism.

Narimon Honarpour, Amgen’s head of world scientific improvement, stated combining a GIP receptor blockade with GLP-1 stimulation had the strongest impression on weight discount in comparison with different methods.

He stated animal and early-stage human trial information printed on Monday present that MariTide promotes weight reduction and improves metabolic markers with an appropriate security profile. The very best examined dose in a small Section 1 trial led to 14.5 per cent weight reduction over 12 weeks.

Outcomes from a mid-stage examine are anticipated late this 12 months.

Each Zepbound and Wegovy are given as weekly injections. Amgen’s Section 2 program is exploring a number of injection dosing regimens, together with month-to-month and fewer frequent photographs.

Amgen has different experimental weight-loss medicines in its pipeline, together with an oral drug in Section 1 testing.


Amgen shares are up greater than 30 per cent over the previous 12 months, closing at an all-time excessive of $323 on Friday, in contrast with an 8 per cent drop for the NYSE Arca Biotech Index, after the corporate in late 2022 unveiled preliminary MariTide trial outcomes.

With its present merchandise and others in improvement, together with most cancers and uncommon illness medicine, Amgen is taking a look at “stable mid-single-digit development, though clearly an weight problems win might transfer this into double-digit development territory,” Morningstar analyst Karen Anderson stated.

A weight-loss drug launch from Amgen wouldn’t occur earlier than 2026, she stated. The corporate, which experiences quarterly outcomes on Tuesday, declined to touch upon a timeline.

Corporations together with Novo Nordisk, Construction Therapeutics and up to date Roche acquisition Carmot Applied sciences, are growing twin GLP-1/GIP “agonists,” the time period scientists use to explain a chemical that prompts a receptor to provoke a organic response.

Lilly’s head of diabetes and metabolic analysis, Ruth Gimeno, in an electronic mail stated the corporate has “a excessive degree of confidence in GIP agonism.”

Dr Louis Aronne, director of Weill Cornell Medicine‘s weight management heart and a Novo trial investigator, stated there’s a concept that turning the receptor each on and off works for weight reduction as a result of GIP stimulation might finally trigger the receptors to cease working.

“Nobody actually understands why they each work,” he stated.

Dr Caroline Apovian, co-director at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital Middle for Weight Administration and Wellness, stated it may be that GIP permits extra GLP-1 receptors to open up.

Amgen’s strategy is rooted in linking a GLP-1 part to an antibody that inhibits GIP, Honarpour defined.

“Our assemble permits completely different pharmacology… Once we give our final dose, the results appear to be extended,” he stated.

Morningstar’s Anderson stated GIP antagonism might trigger points with insulin and she’s going to study the Section 2 information when accessible for a way the drug results blood sugar ranges.

There have additionally been questions on MariTide’s impact on bone mineral density. Amgen has not seen an affiliation, however the present examine is monitoring that, Honarpour stated.

“Weight problems is the illness that causes all the others,” Apovian stated. “We want a big selection of choices.”

  • Revealed On Feb 6, 2024 at 06:08 PM IST

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