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Investors Seek Improved Weight-Loss Drugs With Focus On Nausea-Free Alternatives To Wegovy

Hugely popular Weight-loss drug Wegovy helps people achieve weight loss, but many have discontinued due to severe nausea

Novo Nordisk A/S’s hugely popular Weight-loss drug Wegovy has helped people achieve the goal of shedding weight, but many have discontinued it due to severe nausea and side effects.

“44% of patients taking the weekly injection experienced nausea, and 30% experienced vomiting – the guidance for healthcare professionals approved,”  said the prescribing information.

The obesity market’s growth potential has attracted attention from investors seeking improved weight-loss drugs with fewer side effects.

“Several small biotech companies are developing alternative weight-loss drugs without the side effects of nausea,” said Benzinga.

These experimental drugs work differently from Wegovy by targeting mechanisms other than the GLP-1 gut hormone.

The interest in the obesity market generated by Wegovy’s success is helping these companies raise funds and attract investors.

Some companies, like Rivus Pharmaceuticals, are developing drugs that disrupt the body’s mitochondria to affect energy consumption.

Other companies, such as Glyscend Therapeutics, have shown encouraging results in early trials with minimal side effects.

A staff member works at a lab of Novo Nordisk China Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in Tianjin, north China, Sept. 22, 2022. The manufacturer of the popular weight loss drug Wegovy, and other major pharmaceutical companies are also working on developing second-generation weight-loss drugs.LI RAN/XINHUA VIA GETTY IMAGES

“The ballooning obesity market has improved its fundraising prospects, and it hopes to close a Series A funding round of €30 million by the end of 2023 to begin its Phase 1 study,” said Danish Antag Therapeutics to Reuters.

In May, another biotech company, Switzerland-based Aphaia Pharma, launched the Phase 2 trial of its daily glucose formulation, which is mixed with water. Phase 1 data showed that it curbs appetite by restoring the natural release of GLP-1 and other hormones without causing nausea.

Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly And Co, and other major pharmaceutical companies are also working on developing second-generation weight-loss drugs. However, these drugs, like GLP-1s, still cause nausea based on recent trial data.

The interest in the obesity market could significantly increase the number of biotech firms working in this area in the coming years.

© 2023 Zenger Zenger News does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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