Noom and Novo Nordisk Team Up – New Diet Service

October 3, 2019

Noom has developed a weight-loss app and a personalized meal-planning service it says already is used by 45 million people worldwide that helps overweight people make behavioral changes that can help them slim down.

Danish drug maker Novo says it has completed an eight-month pilot that combined Noom's behavior change programs with its "more than 95 years of experience in helping people living with chronic diseases.

Noom’s approach is to understand individual motivations and obstacles using cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence and behavioural coaching by more than 1,000 personal health coaches. It also uses data and wellness insights to guide people towards sustainable change.

Novo Nordisk is one of several companies in obesity and diabetes that is using digital technology to help tackle the conditions.

Novo Nordisk is also developing its GLP-1 class drug semaglutide as a treatment for obesity, after successfully bringing it to market as a weekly injection, and as a daily pill, in type 2 diabetes to help manage blood sugar levels.

Camilla Sylvest, Novo Nordisk executive vice president, commercial strategy and corporate affairs, said: “We are passionate about improving the lives of people with obesity and finding new solutions to support respectful and complete care, which includes lifestyle change and medical management.”

Simply making drugs available to treat obesity – even if they are effective and well-tolerated – isn’t enough to ensure success. It is estimated that only 7% of obese patients visit their doctor for help and only 2% receive treatment.

Bundling therapy with behavioral platforms like Noom could be one way to improve obesity treatment, and help people keep the weight off.

No details have been provided as yet regarding the price of this new service/program. The program may involve getting daily injections of Saxenda, which could be a significant obstacle to widespread usage. It's not clear whether other obesity drugs other than Saxenda could be used.

Novo Nordisk is already making headway in the obesity therapy market with injectable GLP-1 agonist Saxenda (liraglutide), which made $390 million in sales in the first half of the year, up more than 60% over the same period of 2018.

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