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Wegovy-maker Novo Nordisk raises outlook as sales of its weight-loss drug soar

HealthWegovy-maker Novo Nordisk raises outlook as sales of its weight-loss drug soar

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A selection of injector pens for the Saxenda weight loss drug are shown in this photo illustration in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 31, 2023. 

Jim Vondruska | Reuters

Novo Nordisk, which makes the weight-loss drug Wegovy, raised its outlook for 2023 Thursday, as it reported soaring sales.

The Danish pharmaceutical company reported a 30% increase in sales (at constant exchange rates) for the first half of this year, while operating profit also rose 32%.

Its diabetes and obesity division performed particularly well, bolstered by interest in its blockbuster injection Wegovy.

“The [sales] growth is driven by increasing demand for our GLP-1-based diabetes and obesity treatments, and we are serving more patients than ever before,” Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO, said in a statement. “The performance in the first six months has enabled us to raise the outlook for the full year.”

Last week, late-stage trial data showed that Wegovy reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes by 20%, compared with a placebo, sending shares higher.

The results of the closely watched “SELECT” trial, which exceeded expectations, were seen as a major boost for the company’s hopes of moving beyond Wegovy’s image as a “vanity drug.”

Shares are up almost 1% in pre-market trading.

This is a developing story and will be updated shortly.

Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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