Pfizer Perseveres with Weight-Loss Drug

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) on Thursday said it will move forward with a once-daily version of its weight loss pill, danuglipron, after it saw “encouraging” data in an ongoing early-stage study.

The company evaluated several once-daily formulations of the drug and identified one with “the most favorable profile” in terms of safety and how the body reacts to the drug. Pfizer said it plans to conduct trials in the second half of the year to identify the ideal dose of the drug. Results are expected in the first quarter of next year.

Danuglipron “has demonstrated good efficacy in a twice-daily formulation, and we believe a once-daily formulation has the potential to have a competitive profile in the oral GLP-1 space,” said outgoing Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Mikael Dolsten said. Notably, the company did not observe any liver safety issues in patients who received once-daily formulations of the drug.

Pfizer is one of several drugmakers racing to win a slice of the market for a highly popular class of weight loss and diabetes drugs called GLP-1 agonists. Some analysts expect the industry to be worth roughly $100 billion by the end of the decade.

But Pfizer has so far struggled to break into the market.

The drug behemoth in December discontinued a twice-daily version of danuglipron after patients had trouble tolerating the drug in a mid-stage study. At the time, Pfizer said early study data on the once-daily version would “inform a path forward.”

PFE shares gained 34 cents, or 1.2%, to $28.70.

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