Novo Nordisk’s 44% growth in Type 2 Diabetes in past nine months

Eli Lilly still likely to dominate the GLP-1RA segment 

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Novo Nordisk headquarters in Denmark
Novo Nordisk headquarters, Denmark NN1, exterior by night, Novo Nordisk Danish headquarters in Bagsværd. Inaugurated 2014. Architects: Henning Larsen. Photographer: Jens Lindhe

Despite the adverse supply issues over the past one year, Novo Nordisk’s glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) franchise – including Rybelsus, Saxenda, Ozempic, and Wegovy have performed well. Against this backdrop, the Denmark-based pharmaceutical company is poised to maintain a strong market position against competitor Eli Lilly in the type 2 diabetes (T2D) market, says GlobalData, in a press release dated 11 November 2022.

Reportedly, Ozempic encountered shortages fuelled by demand, while Wegovy has had contract-manufacturing-related supply chain issues. However these challenges have not prevented Novo’s GLP-1 franchise from achieving overall sales growth of 44% for the first nine months of the year.

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO, in the company’s 2 November 2022 announcement concerning the first nine month’s performance said, “We are very pleased with the sales growth in the first nine months of 2022 which has enabled us to raise the outlook for the full year. The growth is driven by increasing demand for GLP-1-based diabetes treatments, especially Ozempic. Within R&D, the encouraging phase 2 data with CagriSema in type 2 diabetes and the successful completion of the phase 3 programme for once-weekly insulin icodec support our aspiration of further raising the innovation bar for diabetes treatments.”

In addition, the launch of Rybelsus (oral semaglutide), which delivered similar efficacy to Ozempic for T2D, has significantly driven the sales of Novo’s GLP-1 franchise with its claimed ease of administration and improved compliance.

Akash Patel, Pharma analyst at GlobalData, comments, “Lilly’s recently launched dual GLP-1RA/glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) agonist Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is likely to have significant head-to-head competition with Novo’s Ozempic. GlobalData predicts that as the market size of T2D continues to increase globally, there will be space for both companies to increase their market share and maintain significant competition.

“Although Lilly has launched Mounjaro) in the past year and has a triple agonist, retatrutide, a GLP-1RA/GIP/glucagon receptor (GR) entering Phase III of development, Novo Nordisk remains likely to maintain a significant share of the GLP-1 market. However, Lilly will steal a large market share from semaglutide and potentially become the dominant GLP-1RA provider.”

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