Obesity | Disease Landscape and Forecast | G7 | 2017

Obesity is a significant public health concern in the major pharmaceutical markets under study and is growing into an epidemic. Despite the prevalence of the disease, few drugs are available to treat it (especially in Europe and Japan). Worse still, available therapies do not have acceptable risk:benefit profiles, and few novel agents are in the late-stage pipeline. Thus, the market opportunity for an antiobesity drug that elicits sustained weight loss and is safe and welltolerated is huge. Antiobesity agents that were launched over 2012-2017 include the GLP-1 receptor agonist Saxenda (Novo Nordisk) and the fixed-dose combination (FDC) of naltrexone and bupropion (Orexigen’s Mysimba in Europe). The diabetes space is inspiring the next generation of weight- loss agents; Novo Nordisk’s semaglutideand Johnson & Johnson’s FDC canagliflozin/phentermine are both in late-stage development.

Questions Answered:

  • Physicians and regulators, particularly in Europe and Japan, have been very cautious with respect to novel antiobesity drugs. Is the attitude of regulators expected to change over the forecast period? How will physicians’ caution affect the uptake of novel medications?
  • Several novel branded and generic GLP-1 receptor agonists are forecast to launch in the United States and EU over the forecast period. How will the availability of new pharmacotherapeutic agents affect medical practice in these markets? What will be the overall impact on drug use and sales?
  • Prescribing generic medication off-label for weight loss is common practice, owing to the limited efficacy, tolerability, and availability of approved medications. How will the availability of novel branded antiobesity agents affect off-label prescribing?


Markets covered: United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Japan.

Primary research: 19 country-specific interviews with obesity thought leaders.

Epidemiology: Prevalence of obesity by severity; prevalence of overweight by eligibility for drug treatment.

Emerging therapies: Phase II: 12 drugs; Phase III: 2 drugs (Phase III-ready); preregistration: 0 drugs; registered: 0 drugs. Coverage of 14 select preclinical and Phase I products.

Key Companies: Alizé Pharma, AstraZeneca, Eisai, Emros Pharmaceuticals, Hanmi Pharmaceuticals, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson, Levo Therapeutics, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Opko Health, Orexigen Therapeutics, Raziel Therapeutics, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Saniona, ​Shionogi, Takeda, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Vivus, Zealand Pharma

Key Drugs: AZP-531, Belviq, canagliflozin, carbetocin, Contrave/Mysimba, efpeglenatide, EMP-16, Invokana, LIK-066, lorcaserin, MEDI-0382, OPK-88003, orlistat, phentermine, phentermine/canagliflozin, phentermine/topiramate, Qsymia, RZL-012, S-237648, Saxenda, semaglutide, setmelanotide, taurocholic acid, tesofensine, Xenical, ZP-2929.

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