Amgen foregoes experimental weight reduction pill and pushes ahead with injection

Amgen announced Thursday that it could stop development of its experimental weight-loss pill and as a substitute proceed development of its injectable drug and other anti-obesity products in development.

Amgen is one in every of several drugmakers vying to enter the red-hot weight-loss drug space dominated by Novo Nordisk And Eli Lilly, which some analysts say could possibly be price $100 billion by the tip of the last decade. But the corporate also has other ways to capture a part of the market.

“Given the profile we’ve seen [the oral drug]We will not follow any further developments. Instead, we are making differentiated investments in MariTide and a number of preclinical products in the obesity space,” Amgen Chief Scientific Officer Jay Bradner said during a conference call Thursday.

Amgen is developing an injectable anti-obesity drug called MariTide, which is in an ongoing mid-stage trial in obese or obese adults without diabetes. The company will release initial data from this study later this yr, and Bradner said Amgen is “very pleased” with the outcomes thus far.

The company said it’s working with regulators to plan a late-stage trial for the treatment. Amgen said Thursday that additionally it is planning a Phase 2 trial of the drug to treat diabetes.

Amgen shares rose greater than 10% in prolonged trading Thursday following the comment on MariTide.

Amgen can also be developing other weight management drugs.

The drugmaker's oral drug, called AMG-786, is the second weight-loss pill to be discontinued previously yr.

Pfizer scrapped a twice-daily version of its obesity pill danuglipron in December after patients in a mid-stage trial had difficulty tolerating the drug. The company is currently developing a once-daily version of this medication.

Investors are fully focused on Amgen's pipeline of experimental weight reduction treatments. Amgen hopes to make use of a distinct approach to face out from the crowded field of potential players.

The company's experimental injection helps people reduce weight otherwise than existing injectable medications. Similar to Novo Nordisk's Wegovy and Eli Lilly's Zepbound, a part of Amgen's treatment prompts a gut hormone receptor called GLP-1 to manage an individual's appetite.

But while Zepbound prompts a second hormone receptor called GIP, Amgen's drug blocks it. Wegovy doesn’t goal GIP, which like GLP-1 suppresses appetite, but might also improve the way in which the body breaks down sugar and fat.

According to some clinical trial data, Amgen's injectable treatment also appears to assist patients reduce their weight after they stop taking it. The drugmaker can also be testing that its drug ought to be taken once a month and even less often, which could provide more convenience than weekly medications available on the market.

Patients given the very best dose of Amgen's MariTide – 420 milligrams – every month lost a median of 14.5% of their body weight in only 12 weeks Data from the phase 1 study published in February within the journal Nature Metabolism.

Amgen's first quarter results

Also on Thursday, Amgen reported first-quarter sales and adjusted earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, thanks partly to products from recently acquired Horizon Therapeutics.

Here's what Amgen reported for the primary quarter in comparison with Wall Street's expectations, based on an LSEG analyst survey:

  • Earnings per share: $3.96 versus expected $3.87
  • Revenue: $7.45 billion versus expected $7.44 billion

Amgen posted a net lack of $113 million, or 21 cents per share. In comparison, net income within the year-ago period was $2.84 billion, or $5.28 per share.

Excluding certain items, the corporate reported profit of $3.96 per share.

Amgen posted first-quarter revenue of $7.45 billion, up 22% from the identical period last yr.

This includes $914 million from Horizon Therapeutics products, including Tepezza for the treatment of thyroid eye disease.

Excluding Horizon Therapeutics' drugs, Amgen said its product sales rose 6% in comparison with the identical period last yr. Ten products achieved double-digit volume growth in the primary quarter, including the cardiovascular drug Repatha, the severe asthma treatment Tezspire and Blincyto, a drug used to treat a certain blood cancer.

Amgen also adjusted its forecast for the total yr barely upwards from its low point on Thursday.

The company expects revenue of $32.5 billion to $33.8 billion in 2024. That compares with a previous forecast of $32.4 billion to $33.8 billion.

Amgen expects full-year adjusted earnings of $19 to $20.20 per share. This compares to previous guidance of $18.90 to $20.30 per share.

Analysts surveyed by LSEG expect full-year revenue of $32.95 billion and adjusted earnings of $19.48 per share.

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