Focused on second- and third-generation opportunities in cardiometabolic drugs market: Merck

Written By :  Ruchika Sharma
Medically Reviewed By :  Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli
Published On 2024-06-12 08:16 GMT   |   Update On 2024-06-20 18:35 GMT

Merck emphasized its focus on second- and third-generation opportunities within the cardiometabolic drugs market, including weight-loss therapies, the Company stated on Tuesday.

"We think more in terms of small-molecule orals, versus injectables. That's the preferred route," CEO Robert Davis said at the Goldman Sachs Global Healthcare Conference.

Merck is eyeing market opportunities with additional potential benefits of weight-loss treatments through drug combinations with "good tolerability and good combinability".

Davis' comments on Tuesday echo those from January, when he said showing outcomes for cardiovascular, diabetes and conditions other than weight management would make it easier for drugs to get insurance reimbursements.
The weight-loss drug market is estimated to be worth about $150 billion in annual global sales by the early 2030s and is currently dominated by Novo Nordisk's Wegovy and Eli Lilly's Zepbound, both belonging to the GLP-1 class.
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GLP-1 drugs, which help slow digestion and reduce hunger by triggering a feeling of fullness, are now being studied to see whether they can improve health in other ways.
Merck said earlier this year that it was seeking GLP-1 treatments with benefits beyond weight loss as the drugmaker develops its own candidate, efinopegdutide, for a type of serious fatty liver disease now known as metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH).
Read also: Merck unveils Software for Complete Data Traceability in Microbial QC
The experimental drug showed a "compelling" weight-loss benefit, the company said last year.
"We're very interested in the sub-segments of GLP biology that's related to MASH," Dean Li, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said on Tuesday.

Read also: USFDA grants priority review to Merck application for Keytruda plus chemotherapy for Metastatic Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

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