Eli Lilly Could Launch Its Rival To Novo Nordisk's Weight-Loss Drug A Year Earlier Than Expected

Eli Lilly is testing an oral GLP-1 in weight loss, similar to what Pfizer and Novo Nordisk are doing.

Eli Lilly Could Launch Its Rival To Novo Nordisk's Weight-Loss Drug A Year Earlier Than Expected

Analysts expect Eli Lilly to launch a weight-loss drug competitor to Novo Nordisk's (NVO) product in 2026, a year sooner than anticipated. This will give Eli Lilly shares another chance to shine.

Lilly published updates on Friday to three studies that tested its orforglipron pill in overweight and obese patients, both with diabetes and without. The company is also running a study in order to determine if the pill can help reduce cardiovascular outcomes such as heart attacks and strokes.

Lilly is expecting to complete the studies by the third quarter 2025. In a client note, SVB Securities' analyst David Risinger stated that the company would be ready to launch its new pill by 2026. He had previously expected orforglipron would hit the market by 2026.

Eli Lilly's stock fell a tiny bit in morning trading today on the stock exchange, near 425.30. The stock price remains near its record high.

Eli Lilly Weight Loss Drugs and Stocks

Weight-loss drugs are a hot topic. Today, there's only one weight-loss drug on the market -- Wegovy by Novo. Several companies are trying to change this. The companies are testing various ways to mimic GLP-1, the gut hormone that tells the brain when the stomach is empty. It can also help the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar.

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in Wegovy. Novo offers it to patients with diabetes as Ozempic or Rybelsus. The next generation aims to incorporate other mechanisms in order to improve the treatment of diabetes and boost weight loss.

Mounjaro, a diabetes drug from Lilly, has been approved. The company hopes that the once-weekly injection will also soon be approved as a drug for weight loss. In the past, Eli Lilly's stock price has risen on expectations for Mounjaro. Patients often prefer pills because they are more convenient. Orforglipron is a drug that can help. It is a daily pill.

Pfizer, Novo Battle In Diabetes

This week, there were several important weight-loss drug news stories. Researchers noted in a study that Pfizer's (PFE), GLP-1 pills, danuglipron helped patients with type-2 diabetes lose 10 pounds within 16 weeks. This was more weight loss than the diabetes drug Ozempic which had similar results over 30 weeks.

But danuglipron only comes in a twice daily pill. Pfizer also works on a lotiglipron, a pill that is taken once a day. The company will wait for the results of Phase 2 testing of lotiglipron before deciding on which of two potential drugs to test in the final phase.

Novo Nordisk also studies an oral version. Over the course of 68 weeks patients with obesity could lose up to 17.4%. Over 89% of patients who lost weight during the same period did so by at least 5%.

According to MarketSmith.com, Eli Lilly's stock is above its key moving-averages. The shares have a Relative Strength rating of 95. This means they performed among the top 5% in all stocks during the past 12 months. Novo shares have a similar IBD Digital RS rating.