India pharma firms develop variations of Wegovy to get in on weight-loss windfall – ET HealthWorld | Pharma


Hyderabad: Indian drugmakers aiming to seize a slice of the burgeoning weight-loss therapy gross sales pie, each at house and overseas, have begun growing their very own variations of Novo Nordisk‘s wildly in demand Wegovy.

With some analysts predicting a weight-loss market reaching $100 billion a 12 months or extra by the tip of the last decade, executives at Sun Pharma, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s and Lupin — a number of the world’s largest generic drugmakers — all stated they’ve began work on Wegovy variations.

Novo Nordisk has been unable to provide sufficient Wegovy to satisfy demand in additional than half a dozen nations the place it has already launched, amid report international weight problems charges and folks in search of simpler options to food regimen and train. U.S. rival Eli Lilly likewise has been unable to satisfy demand for its weight-loss medication Zepbound and Mounjaro.

Novo has not supplied a transparent timeline for introducing Wegovy globally, however instructed Reuters it goals to launch in India in 2026.

The transfer by Indian drugmakers may go a great distance towards enhancing international entry to weight-loss medication and make them way more reasonably priced, analysts stated.

“We anticipate quantity growth to extend multi-fold by the point patent expires, which is just a few years from now,” Systematix analyst Vishal Manchanda stated. “They can even be out there at a a lot cheaper price by generic drugmakers.”

Business insiders agreed.

“There may be large potential in India… given the approach to life selections,” Cipla International CEO Umang Vohra stated in a post-earnings name in January.

India has excessive weight problems charges, particularly amongst ladies, and has the world’s second highest variety of folks with kind 2 diabetes, trailing solely China. Round 11 per cent of adults in India can be overweight by 2035, in accordance with the World Obesity Federation Atlas.

Novo’s patents for Wegovy, given as a weekly injection, expire in China in 2026, in Japan and Europe in 2031, and within the U.S. in 2032, in accordance with its annual report.

The Danish drugmaker is the only patent holder of semaglutide, the energetic ingredient in Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic, which aren’t but authorized in India. It declined to touch upon when its patent would expire in India.

“We need to market this product on time in all of the markets as (Novo’s) patent expires,” Dr Reddy’s CEO Erez Israeli stated of semaglutide in a media name final month.

Novo didn’t touch upon when it expects to see competitors from Indian drugmakers however instructed Reuters it “welcomes new therapy choices” for folks dwelling with weight problems.

Solar Pharma is working by itself experimental drug to deal with kind 2 diabetes and weight problems. Others are taking a extra conventional generic drug path.

“Dr Reddy’s and Cipla are making a duplicate of the innovator drug extra like a generic model, whereas Solar is working by itself innovator drug. So, Solar should do scientific trials. Its drug can be novel and patented,” Manchanda stated.

The Indian marketplace for diabetes medication alone was estimated at 316 billion rupees ($3.81 billion) in 2023 and is projected to hit 1.2 trillion rupees ($14.48 billion) within the subsequent decade, in accordance with Skilled Market Analysis.

Wegovy in scientific trials helped sufferers lose as much as 15 per cent of their physique weight, whereas Eli Lilly drug trial individuals misplaced much more. Their medicines belong to a category of therapies often called GLP-1 receptor agonists initially developed to manage blood sugar in kind 2 diabetes sufferers. In addition they sluggish digestion, serving to folks really feel full longer.

Knowledge displaying the category of medicine may additionally delay development of power kidney illness and decrease coronary heart illness dangers are more likely to additional improve demand.

Regardless of the house turf benefit for firms like Cipla, cracking the price-sensitive Indian market will not be straightforward.

“In India, the requirement is to develop a marketplace for anti-obesity (medication),” stated DAM Capital analyst Nitin Agarwal, “not like in different nations the place drugmakers can simply take a share of current market.”

  • Revealed On Feb 22, 2024 at 12:57 PM IST

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