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Pfizer Monday said it would stop development its experimental obesity and diabetes drug, lotigranonedue to elevated liver enzymes in patients taking the drug once daily in a mid-stage clinical study.

Those ones elevated enzymes It usually indicates damage to liver cells, but the pharmaceutical giant said no patients experienced liver-related symptoms or side effects.

Pfizer shares closed down 3.6% on Monday.

New York-based Pfizer said it will focus on another oral obesity drug, danuglipron, which is in a fully enrolled Phase 2 trial.

According to results released by Pfizer last month, the study found that people with type 2 diabetes who took high doses of Danuglipron twice a day for 16 weeks lost weight.

The company expects to finalize plans for a Phase 3 clinical trial of danuglipron by the end of 2023. Pfizer added that it is also developing a version of danuglipron that patients take once a day instead of twice.

“We look forward to analyzing the Phase 2 results of danuglipron and selecting a dose and titration regimen to maximize efficacy, safety and tolerability,” William Sessa, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer for internal medicine, said in a release.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, said the weight-loss drug could eventually bring in $10 billion a year for the company.

Lotiglipron, danuglipron and Novo NordiskThe blockbuster weight-loss injections Ozempic and Wegovy belong to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists.

They mimic a hormone produced in the gut called GLP-1, which signals the brain when a person is full.

These drugs can also help people manage type 2 diabetes because they stimulate the pancreas to release insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels.

Oral medications such as Pfizer’s danuglipron may offer advantages over frequent injections.Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly It is also developing its own experimental obesity and diabetes drugs.

New weight-loss drugs have sparked public interest and sparked a gold rush in the weight-loss industry. But uncertainty remains about their availability, and there are questions about how long patients need to take the drugs to lose unwanted weight.

Some people who stop taking their medication complain of regaining and unmanageable weight.

According to statistics, more than two in five adults are obese National Institutes of Health. About one in ten adults is severely obese.

Analysts see Eli Lilly’s drug having an advantage over Pfizer’s danuglipron.

Wells Fargo analyst Mohit Bansal said in a research note on Monday that Pfizer’s decision to compete with danuglipron in the oral weight-loss drug segment will be challenging given the strong data from Eli Lilly’s experimental drug forforglipron.

Overweight or obese patients who took orforglipron once a day lost 14.7 percent of their body weight after 36 weeks, according to the company’s interim clinical trial results released Friday.

Doctors often prefer a once-daily pill like orforglipron to twice-daily danuglipron, Bansal added: “Based on convenience, tolerability and magnitude of weight loss, orforglipron may be the best option.”


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