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Wegovy weight-loss8k8 com login register drug OK'd in China

中国男篮不敌澳大利亚 | 8k8 com login register | Updated: 2024-07-16 08:10:53

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the logo of Novo Nordisk at the company's office in Bagsvaerd, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark, March 8, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk said Tuesday that its injectable weight-loss drug Wegovy has been approved in China, where the proportion of overweight and obese adults reached almost 51 percent of the country's 1.4 billion people in 2022, according to the country's National Health Commission.

Novo Nordisk didn't announce a launch date or give any details about volumes.

The company's Ozempic was approved to treat diabetes in China in 2021. Sales of the drug in the greater China region more than doubled in 2023, reaching 4.82 billion Danish kroner ($693.6 million), The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The company told Forbes it will only launch in China once it could guarantee supplies for those already taking it, as shortages plague the US market.

In the United States, where obesity affects about 42.3 percent of US adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wegovy, Ozempic and similar medications have soared in popularity and price.

Americans paid 10 times more for Ozempic than patients in the UK did in 2023 — $936 a month compared with $93, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. It said Wegovy costs Americans $1,349 a month, compared with $296 in the Netherlands (the drug isn't yet available in the UK).

The drugmaker has said the initial focus of a volume-capped launch would be on Chinese patients willing to pay out of pocket for the once-weekly injection.

The drug will initially be available to patients with a body mass index that is the threshold for obesity and at least one weight-related comorbidity, the drugmaker said, CNBC reported.

Weight-related comorbidities refer to additional medical conditions that someone with obesity can develop due to their weight, according to the report.

The report noted that the approval for Wegovy comes as the patent on the drug's active ingredient, semaglutide, is set to expire in China in 2026 and as competition from domestic drugmakers increases.

Clinical trial records show around 15 generic versions of Wegovy and Ozempic — also made by Novo Nordisk and which contains the same semaglutide active ingredient as Wegovy — are being developed in China, Reuters reported last month.

Novo Nordisk's semaglutide patent expires in China in 2026, which will pave the way for generic versions.

To meet the surging demand for Wegovy in other markets, Novo Nordisk has committed to spend several billion dollars in building new production capacity.

Chinese regulators have already approved two locally produced drugs for weight loss that work in a similar way to Novo Nordisk's offering. The drugs, made by Huadong Medicine and Shanghai Benemae Pharmaceutical, both mimic a gut hormone to suppress appetite, delay stomach emptying and control blood sugar, according to The Wall Street Journal report.

In addition, Chinese biotech company Innovent Biologics has the Chinese rights to a next-generation obesity drug from Eli Lilly called Mazdutide, which is currently in Phase 3 trials.

Eli Lilly's blockbuster diabetes drug Tirzepatide won approval in China last month, while its Zepbound obesity drug that shares the same active ingredient is still under review, the Journal reported.

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