Pfizer moving ahead with plans for once-daily weight loss pill

Pfizer announced Thursday plans to move forward with an oral daily weight loss medication in the same drug category as treatments including Ozempic and Zepbound.

The pharmaceutical giant said clinical evaluation of once-daily doses of its oral GLP-1 agonist candidate danuglipron demonstrated “encouraging” data. Dose optimization studies are planned.

Pfizer had been looking into a twice-daily version of danuglipron last year but decided against advancing the iteration due to side effects among trial participants such as nausea and vomiting.

“Obesity is a key therapeutic area for Pfizer, and the company has a robust pipeline of three clinical and several pre-clinical candidates. The most advanced of them, danuglipron, has demonstrated good efficacy in a twice-daily formulation, and we believe a once-daily formulation has the potential to have a competitive profile in the oral GLP-1 space,” Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

Like other GLP-1 drugs, danuglipron is meant to work by stimulating increased insulin secretion and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. The more well-known GLP-1 medications including Wegovy and Mounjaro are injected subcutaneously weekly.

Oral GLP-1 medications have been available since 2019. The Food and Drug Administration approved Rybelsus, a once-daily oral form of semaglutide, for treating type 2 diabetes along with diet and exercise.

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