(813) 971-8080

7210 Wareham Drive, Tampa, FL 33647

Novo Nordisk Working On Even Better Weight Loss Drugs

May 9, 2024

Novo Nordisk is beginning work on a follow-up weight loss medicine that would last longer and could be manufactured more easily.

On Thursday, the company unveiled a research project aimed at adding up to two more obesity treatments to its large pipeline, which already includes a long list of experimental obesity drugs being tested in clinical trials.

The company will collaborate with Metaphore Biotechnologies, a privately held biotech founded by Flagship Pioneering, the venture capital company that created Moderna, known for its Covid-19 vaccines, among other prominent biotechs.

Novo will pay up to $600 million in upfront and milestone payments, plus royalties on any potential future product.

“What we are looking for is to develop a next generation therapeutic with high efficacy as a baseline requirement,” Uli Stilz, who heads Novo’s Bio Innovation Hub in Cambridge, Mass., told Barron’s. “We are also looking for developing a therapeutic here which has durability…so that we can do infrequent dosing.”

Wegovy and Eli Lilly’s Zepbound, a similar drug, are injected once weekly. “Of course it’s early days, but certainly we aspire to go beyond this,” Stilz said.

Stilz also said that Metaphore’s platform could allow for the development of a drug that could be easier to manufacture, a key issue for Novo. It has struggled to keep up with demand for Wegovy and for Ozempic, the version of the same medicine that is sold as treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

It is too early to estimate how long it might take to get a drug from the program into the clinic for testing, Stilz said.


Certainly the current GLP-1 drugs are good, but it’s still just a first step in treating obesity on a massive scale. There are drawbacks – lack of insurance coverage, the high cost of the brand name meds, shortages, compounded meds of dubious quality, etc. New drugs that are just as effective, and cheaper, and in pill form instead of injections, would be very attractive to most consumers.

For More Information About The U.S. Weight Loss Market…

Marketdata LLC has just published a new analysis of the weight loss market: “The U.S. Weight Loss Market: 2024 Status Report & Forecast”, March 2024, 107 Pages.

Some findings:

  • Obesity medications.. This market for prescription drugs in the U.S. more than doubled in 2023, from an estimated $5.1 billion in 2022 to $11.9 billion in 2023 as demand continued to soar for drugs such as Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda, Wegovy and Ozempic, as well as the entry of new drugs such as Mounjaro and Zepbound into the market.
  • Medical weight loss programs and services were estimated to be worth $21.0 billion in 2023. This is the highest share of the market posted since 1989. Medical programs are provided by independent physicians (incl. bariatricians), clinics, hospitals, and medical weight loss franchises.

This new Marketdata report presents a wrap-up of 2023 performance for the U.S. weight loss market during the obesity drugs market explosion and a forecast for 2024. The value of the total market is estimated to have grown to a historic peak of $90 billion in 2023, boosted by soaring sales of the popular prescription GLP-1 weight loss drugs. This is a paradigm shift to medical programs, and a major challenge for competing commercial diet companies, which lost $1 billion in revenues since 2022.

GLP-1 drugs are a game changer in terms of the number of medications now on the market, plus others to come in the next several years. They have affected dieter behavior and how commercial diet companies operate. Nearly all non-medical segments of the market have felt the pain of declining sales, and 26,500 weight loss coaches have lost their jobs. However, more physicians are adding weight loss to their practices, bariatric surgeries are hitting new highs, and caseloads/revenues at medical weight loss franchises and at bariatricians are growing.

The report includes in-depth analyses of: 2020-2023 market/revenue performance, recent competitor and market developments, current dieter trends, diet company advertising spending, and a new analysis of the number and salaries of weight loss coaches in the industry.  Special emphasis and analysis on the obesity drugs market, risks, what could derail the market, and why there is a wild west environment emerging – problems with using cheaper compounded drugs that are not FDA-approved.

Individual Status Reports and the Effects of the obesity drugs boom on operations and revenues, for ALL major weight loss market segments… diet soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, health clubs industry, commercial weight loss chains, retail meal replacements and retail appetite suppressants, medical programs (physicians, hospitals/clinic programs, prescription diet drugs, bariatricians, weight loss surgeries), and low-calorie dinner entrees.

Includes profiles/updated outlooks for: WW, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, Medifast, Herbalife, Glanbia (Slim-Fast), Noom, Simply Good Foods (Atkins), HMR Boston, Lindora, and Profile by Sanford. Marketdata analysis of company strategy, conference calls.

Order This Report

Go to marketdataenterprises.com, Choose Buy Reports tab on home page for online store, go to page 4 of store listings to find this study, add to basket and pay, checkout. Price: $895. Or, call us at: 813-971-8080 and charge it. Table of Contents available at the Studies page, choose Services tab on home page, then Diet Market – Our Specialty.

Scroll to Top