It seems that Pfizer finds itself in trouble again. Check out the latest reports about how the firm discontinued a weight loss pill due to serious adverse effects.
Pfizer makes headlines again
Pfizer has announced that it will discontinue the development of its experimental weight loss pill’s twice-daily version.
This decision comes after the mid-stage clinical study showed that obese patients who were taking the drug, lost significant weight but faced difficulty tolerating it. Patients experienced high rates of adverse side effects, mostly mild and gastrointestinal.
Additionally, a significant portion of patients stopped taking the pill, which was intended to be a more convenient alternative to highly popular weight loss injections.
“At this time, twice-daily danuglipron formulation will not advance into Phase 3 studies,” the company said.
Pfizer announced that it still intends to release data on a once-a-day version of the drug in the first half of 2024, which will help the company decide on its next steps.
The pharmaceutical giant plans to wait for the data before deciding whether to start a phase three study on the once-daily pill, which is viewed as a more competitive form of the treatment. The announcement of the trial results caused shares of Pfizer to fall 5% on Friday.
However, the data on the twice-daily drug is a setback to Pfizer’s hopes of capturing a $10 billion slice of the growing weight loss drug market.
CEO Albert Bourla has said that the market could grow to $90 billion, and the company is counting on a successful weight loss pill to help it recover from the plummeting demand for its Covid products and the approximately 40% drop in its share price this year.
Investors have been doubtful about Pfizer’s prospects in the weight loss drug market ever since the company abandoned a once-daily pill in June and proceeded with the less appealing danuglipron.
Friday’s data has further pushed Pfizer behind the leading players in the weight loss drug market, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, who are in a race to develop pill versions of their popular weight loss and diabetes injections, according to CNBC.
Pfizer conducted a phase two trial on its twice-daily pill, which involved approximately 600 obese adults without Type 2 diabetes.
The trial investigated the drug’s impact on weight loss after 26 or 32 weeks, with different dosage amounts ranging from 40 milligrams to 200 milligrams.
The company reported that a significant number of adverse events were observed among patients in the study, with up to 73% experiencing nausea, up to 47% vomiting, and up to 25% experiencing diarrhea.
According to Pfizer, more than 50% of patients across all dosages stopped taking the pill, compared to roughly 40% of those on the placebo.