Pfizer steps up race for weight-loss drug

STORY: Pfizer said on Monday (June 26) it is scrapping the development of obesity and diabetes drug lotiglipron to focus on other treatments.

That as the drugmaker races to develop a rival to weight loss drugs from Danish company Novo Nordisk, which have seen soaring demand.

Pfizer said it chose to discontinue the drug after results showed elevated levels of liver enzymes in patients during clinical studies.

It will now focus on its other weight loss drug, danuglipron.

Latest trials show it helped Type 2 diabetes patients lose weight on par with rivals in a mid-stage study.

Pfizer said it would finalize plans for the late-stage trial of danuglipron by the end of 2023.

Drugmakers have been racing to target the weight loss market, which is estimated to reach $100 billion by the end of the decade.

And Novo Nordisk is already testing a high-dose oral version of semaglutide, the drug behind brands Ozempic and Wegovy.

Late-stage trials found that the obesity pill helped patients lose 15% of their body weight.

The company has struggled to keep up with huge demand for Ozempic and Wegovy, which are sold as a once-weekly injection.

It plans to seek approval for the pill version later this year and said the market launch is yet to be determined.