Pfizer Halts Development Of Twice-Daily Weight-Loss Drug; PFE Stock Slides

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Pfizer (PFE) said Friday it would not advance development of a twice-daily oral weight-loss drug because of its side effects. PFE stock fell in Friday trading, as the company said it would focus on a once-daily version of the drug.


In a news release Friday, Pfizer said its twice-daily danuglipron demonstrated “statistically significant change” in body weight, but included high rates of adverse effects. That includes nausea and vomiting, according to Pfizer.

The news deals a blow to the pharmaceutical giant’s efforts to compete in the booming market for GLP-1 weight-loss drugs. On the stock market today, PFE stock fell 5% to 28.91.

PFE Stock: Playing Catch-Up For Weight Loss Drugs

Pfizer said the trial showed weight loss of up to 13% at 32 weeks in adults with obesity. But up to 73% of patients in the trial has nausea, up to 47% vomiting and 25% diarrhea. Further, Pfizer said the trial has a high discontinuation rate of greater than 50%.

The company will now focus on a once-daily version, with initial data expected in the first half of next year.

“We believe an improved once-daily formulation of danuglipron could play an important role in the obesity treatment paradigm, and we will focus our efforts on gathering the data to understand its potential profile,” Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten said in the news release.

But Pfizer already dropped development of a different once-daily weight-loss drug in June, called lotiglipron. That drug showed the potential for elevated liver enzymes in some patients.

Pfizer has been working on its own GLP-1 drug to compete with Ozempic by Novo Nordisk (NVO) and Mounjaro by Eli Lilly (LLY).

PFE stock has lost more than 40% this year, hurt by declining sales of it Covid-19 products. Meanwhile, NOV is up 49% and LLY has gained 63%, propelled by growing sales and excitement over the massive market potential of weight-loss drugs.

LLY stock fell 1% Friday, while NVO stock closed down by 1.4%.


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