Weight-loss drug maker Novo Nordisk's profits soar further

By AFP   May 2, 2024 | 12:30 am PT
Weight-loss drug maker Novo Nordisk's profits soar further
Packs of weight loss drug Wegovy. Photo courtesy of Novo Nordisk
Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk reported more soaring profits Thursday as it basks in the popularity of anti-diabetes and weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy which have turned it into Europe's most valuable company.

Its net profit reached 25.4 billion kroner ($3.6 billion) in the first quarter, a 28% jump from the same period last year, the company said in a statement.

Sales rose by 24% at current exchange rates to 65.3 billion kroner -- almost two-billion-kroner higher than forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg and financial data firm FactSet.

Novo Nordisk raised its outlook for 2024, saying it now expects sales to rise by between 19 to 27% -- up from 18-26% previously.

"More patients benefit from our innovative treatments," Novo Nordisk chief executive Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said in a statement.

To step up production for its blockbuster drugs, Novo Nordisk is acquiring U.S. drug manufacturing firm Catalent.

"The agreement to acquire the three Catalent manufacturing sites will enable us to serve significantly more people living with diabetes and obesity in the future," Fruergaard Jorgensen added.

Novo Nordisk produces Ozempic, an injectable anti-diabetic treatment which became wildly popular on social networks for its slimming properties.

It also makes Wegovy, which has the same active ingredient as Ozempic in a different dose and was approved by U.S. regulators to treat obesity.

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