Amgen Stock Slumps As It Looks To Take On Weight-Loss Drugs Leaders Lilly, Novo

Amgen (AMGN) stock slumped Monday — as Eli Lilly (LLY) stock hit a record high — after the biotech company said its experimental weight-loss drug appeared durable for up to 150 days.




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In one Amgen study, patients received the same dosage three times. At the highest dose, they lost an average 8.2% of their body weight over 92 days. In comparison, patients who received a placebo gained 1.7% more body weight over the same time period.

A second study tested doses that increased over time. The regimen that increased to the highest dose resulted in 14.5% body weight lost over 85 days vs. a 1.5% gain for the placebo group. The weight loss was still intact after 150 days.

But in afternoon trades on the stock market today, Amgen stock dipped 0.2% to 322.65. Eli Lilly stock jumped 6.5% to 711.07. Novo Nordisk (NVO), another player in the weight-loss drugs arena, saw its shares rise 4.3% to 118.58.

Part of Novo Nordisk’s stock jump comes on the heels of Novo Holdings’ $11.5 billion acquisition of Catalent (CTLT). Novo Holdings is the majority shareholder of Novo Nordisk. Catalent is a contract drug manufacturer and is already involved in making Novo’s obesity and diabetes medications.

Amgen Stock: Breaking Into Weight-Loss Drugs

The results could help Amgen break into the weight-loss drugs market. Lilly and Novo lead the space, which heated up markedly last year. Eli Lilly stock rocketed more than 59% in 2023, while Novo Nordisk stock surged 53%.

But industry observers say there’s room for more competitors in the market, which is huge. Buying Catalent will help Novo bolster production. Novo has struggled to meet demand amid increasing interest in weight-loss drugs. Eli Lilly is further behind, just gaining approval for its rival, Zepbound, last year.

Amgen’s results are early-stage, however, and it could be years before Amgen can launch an obesity treatment. Analysts polled by FactSet don’t expect any sales by 2028 — the latest year for which there are estimates.

Still, Amgen stock is also trading at a record high. Shares broke out of a cup base with buy point at 288.46 in late December, MarketSmith.com shows. The stock is now well extended beyond the buy zone.

This story has been corrected to reflect Amgen’s studies were performed in human participants.

Follow Allison Gatlin on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, at @IBD_AGatlin.

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