Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk surpassed French luxury goods giant LVMH on Friday to become Europe’s most valuable company, buoyed by demand for its best-selling weight-loss drug.
Novo shares rose 2.1 percent in Copenhagen, boosting its market value to nearly $425 billion. LVMH , which is valued at about $420 billion, fell 0.8 percent in Paris.it is this year only The French luxury conglomerate passed the milestone of becoming the first company in Europe to be worth more than $500 billion, but shares have since retreated.
The success of Novo’s Wegovy and Ozempic injectables has sparked a gold rush in the pharmaceutical industry, with some analysts predicting that such treatments could become some of the best-selling drugs of all time.About 40 companies are chasing Novo’s market share, led by Eli Lilly & Co. , which expects to win U.S. approval for its Mounjaro diabetes drug this year treating obesity.
Behind the rapid rise of Novo drugs is GLP-1 agonistThe molecule was initially found to help diabetics regulate blood sugar, but it was soon discovered that its appetite-suppressing effects could also help people lose weight. The drugs have since become so popular that regulators around the world have issued warnings that Ozempic may not reach injection-dependent diabetics.
Because of this, GLP-1 drugs may become victims of their own success. On Aug. 23, regulators in Novo’s home country of Denmark proposed limiting subsidies for GLP-1 treatments.
Novo’s shares have more than quadrupled since late 2018, outpacing other European giants such as Nestlé, as well as pharmaceutical rivals Roche Holding AG and Novartis AG. The latest push came in August, when a landmark trial showed Wegovy lower risk of heart disease increased by one-fifth. The study could further expand access by helping Novo enter into reimbursement discussions with insurance companies that might otherwise be hesitant to pay for Wegovy.
Also in August, the Danish company Profit and sales forecasts raised Growth this year was driven by demand from Wegovy and Ozempic.
With the global obesity treatment market expected to explode over the next decade, Citigroup analysts predicted in July that Novo and Eli Lilly would dominate what they called a “structural duopoly.”
Still, things haven’t been all smooth sailing. Novo also said Wegovy’s supply would be Continuing to be restricted in the U.S. As drugmakers are working to scale up production. Reuters reported on Aug. 23 that Novo had hired US-based Thermo Fisher Scientific as its second contract manufacturer for the drug.
On Friday, Novo Chief Executive Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told Bloomberg Television that his company is “basically selling everything we can, and in terms of manufacturing, we’re significantly increased productivity.”