The market for obesity treatments across the seven major markets (7MM: the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Japan) is projected to grow from $2.43 billion in 2021 to $37.1 billion in 2031, driven by the launch of therapies with promising efficacies and/or new routes of administration, as well as the growth of the obese population, forecasts GlobalData.
According to GlobalData, the growth will be supported by the launch of Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy (semaglutide) across the 5EU (France, Germany Italy, Spain, and the UK), coupled with the anticipated launch of Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide across the 7MM, along with the awaited approval of other glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) pipeline therapies, and the introduction of therapies with new mechanisms of action to the obesity space during the forecast period.
GlobalData’s latest report, “Obesity: Seven-Market Drug Forecast and Market Analysis,” reveals that GLP-1RA therapies will continue to remain the dominant treatment modality for DME during the forecast period. This theme is observed both in the currently marketed products as well as in the late-stage pipeline products, with companies focusing on improving efficacy with these therapies.
Sara Reci, Healthcare Analyst at GlobalData, comments, “Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy has established the efficacy of GLP-1RA therapies for obesity. However, the need for more efficacious therapies that simultaneously help maintain weight loss remains of utmost interest, according to the interviewed key opinion leaders (KOLs), who acknowledge that obesity is a chronic disease and thus upon treatment cessation, patients typically regain all the weight they lost while on treatment. This is therefore a pressing issue in the obese patient population.”
Looking ahead, many of the current late-stage pipeline products for obesity emulate what is currently on the market, employing the GLP-1RA mechanism of action. Simultaneously, double- and triple-agonist mechanisms are a dominant trend in the obesity pipeline.
One such example is Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide, whose mechanism of action entails GLP-1R and GIPR agonism. GlobalData forecasts that highly anticipated tirzepatide will capture significant market share from other GLP-1RA therapies, including Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy, upon its launch, due to its promising efficacy in clinical trials. Other examples include Novo Nordisk’s CagriSema, which employs GLP-1R and amylin analogue agonism, and Eli Lilly’s orforglipron, which is expected to be the first triple-agonist therapy in the obesity space.
While the obesity market is projected to grow strongly in the forecast period, the potential barriers to this growth include patent expiries within the forecast period. For example, Saxenda and Victoza’s (liraglutide) patents are set to expire in the US and 5EU in 2023; in Japan, Victoza’s patent expired in 2022, leading to the anticipated entry of biosimilars.
Reci concludes, “Liraglutide biosimilars are also set to enter the obesity market during the forecast period, which will undoubtedly compete with their parent drugs, Saxenda and Victoza. However, the launch of tirzepatide and other late-stage pipeline therapies with superior efficacies, new mechanisms of action, some of which entail double- and triple-agonism, as well as new routes of administration are undoubtedly a driving force for the market growth in the obesity space.”