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Eli Lilly Secures China Nod For Popular Weight Loss/Diabetes Drug Tirzepatide

Published 21/05/2024, 14:36
©  Reuters Eli Lilly Secures China Nod For Popular Weight Loss/Diabetes Drug Tirzepatide
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Benzinga - by Vandana Singh, Benzinga Editor.

On Tuesday, Eli Lilly And Company (NYSE:LLY) announced that Chinese regulators have approved its diabetes drug tirzepatide.

This approval sets the stage for heightened competition with Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO) in the crucial Asian market.

Tirzepatide, known in the U.S. under the brand names Mounjaro for diabetes and Zepbound for weight loss, will now be used in China to treat adults with type 2 diabetes.

Also Read: Weight Loss Competition Heats Up In Britain, Online Pharmacies Slash Prices for Wegovy and Mounjaro.

This development comes as Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Ozempic, approved in China in 2021, has seen significant sales growth in the region.

Novo Nordisk’s sales for Ozempic in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, more than doubled to 4.8 billion Danish Krone in 2023.

Both Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk are racing to increase production in response to the skyrocketing demand for weight-loss drugs.

These treatments, part of a class known as GLP-1 agonists initially developed for diabetes, are anticipated to drive a global market that could reach $100 billion by the end of the decade.

Citing Ping An Securities, Bloomberg noted that in China alone, the market is expected to grow to 14.9 billion yuan ($2 billion) by 2030.

Eli Lilly has not announced the start date for tirzepatide sales in China or the number of doses to be supplied.

Despite this, the drug’s approval is a significant step, potentially paving the way for off-label use for weight loss, similar to how Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic is utilized following its diabetes clearance in China.

Reuters noted that Novo Nordisk is preparing for its weight-loss drug Wegovy to be approved in China this year, with an anticipated limited launch.

Additionally, Eli Lilly is co-developing another obesity drug, mazdutide, with its Chinese partner Innovent Biologics Inc., while several companies are developing biosimilar versions of Ozempic, aiming to enter the market when Novo’s patent expires.

Read Next: Goldman Scrutinizes Hits, Misses, And Growth Trajectory Concerns For Eli Lilly And Its Obesity and Diabetes Drugs.

Price Action: LLY shares are up 2.63% at $803.75 at last check Tuesday.

Photo by Ciara Kimsey via Shutterstock

© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Read the original article on Benzinga

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