Novo Nordisk A/S said the supply of its blockbuster obesity medicine Wegovy will continue to be restricted in the US as the drugmaker struggles to increase capacity.
(Bloomberg) — Novo Nordisk A/S said the supply of its blockbuster obesity medicine Wegovy will continue to be restricted in the US as the drugmaker struggles to increase capacity.
The Danish company made the comments even as it raised its profit and sales outlook for the year as demand for Wegovy and another related diabetes medicine used for weight loss fuel revenue growth.
The supply struggle is raising questions about whether the drugmaker can stay on top of the wave that’s boosted its market value to $420 billion — more than Denmark’s gross domestic product — and made it Europe’s most valuable company after French luxury giant LVMH.
Sales are now expected to grow as much as 33%, up from a peak estimate of 30%, Novo said Thursday. It also upgraded the guidance for operating profit by 3 percentage points. Wegovy’s revenue surged beyond analysts’ estimates last quarter to 7.5 billion Danish kroner ($1.1 billion), despite the supply restrictions.
The company also faced manufacturing constraints for its rare-disease medicines last quarter, which it said was temporary but affected sales.
Novo has vaulted into the limelight thanks to a new generation of medicines that help people shed unwanted pounds by curbing their appetite. A study this week showed Wegovy cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 20%, which may aid discussions with insurers balking at the treatment’s cost.
The success of Wegovy and the related injectable drug Ozempic has sparked something of a gold rush in the pharma industry and some analysts predict this class of treatments could become one of the biggest-ever blockbusters. About 40 companies are chasing after Novo to grab a share of the market, led by Eli Lilly & Co., which expects to get US approval to use its Mounjaro diabetes drug to treat obesity this year.
Novo’s stock has more than quadrupled since the end of 2018, overtaking other European behemoths like Nestle.
(Updates with rare-disease supply constraints in fifth paragraph)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.