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Amgen is venturing into the competitive weight loss drug market with a new injectable treatment called MariTide, which activates the gut hormone receptor GLP-1 and blocks GIP. This drug aims to help regulate appetite and promote weight loss differently from existing treatments like Wegovy from Novo Nordisk and Zepbound from Eli Lilly. The company is also exploring creating an oral medicine for obesity. Initial data from early-stage clinical trials on MariTide has shown promising results, with patients losing significant weight after just 12 weeks. Amgen expects to release more data later this year, shedding light on its future prospects in the weight loss drug space.

The obesity treatment market is projected to be worth $100 billion by 2028, leaving room for new competitors like Amgen to enter. Both Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly have faced challenges in meeting the demand for their treatments, potentially creating an opportunity for other companies to gain market share. Amgen’s MariTide offers a unique approach to weight loss by blocking the GIP receptor, which could result in longer-lasting weight loss compared to current injections on the market. How Amgen’s drug interacts with the body’s hormonal system and the implications for weight loss are still the subject of ongoing research.

Amgen’s early-stage trial data indicates that a single injection of MariTide could result in prolonged weight loss effects, with patients maintaining significant weight loss even after stopping the drug. This sustained weight loss appears to contrast with outcomes observed in trials of existing weight loss treatments. Moreover, Amgen’s once-monthly dosing regimen offers a level of convenience that may appeal to patients who are averse to more frequent injections. The drug’s ability to stay in the body longer than current therapies could further enhance its appeal to patients requiring chronic treatment for obesity.

The ongoing phase two trial on nearly 600 patients will provide more clarity on MariTide’s efficacy compared to existing treatments like Wegovy and Zepbound. The study is exploring various dosing levels and schedules to optimize treatment outcomes and minimize side effects. Initial results from this trial are expected later this year, providing valuable insights into how competitive Amgen’s drug will be in the weight loss medication market. Potential benefits of Amgen’s treatment include longer-lasting weight loss effects, as well as the ability to be taken less frequently than current injections.

The phase two trial will also analyze patient tolerance to different doses and schedules of MariTide, addressing questions about the drug’s side effects and long-term effectiveness. The study will include dose escalation protocols to mitigate side effects observed in the phase one trial, such as nausea and vomiting. Despite some patients experiencing mild gastrointestinal issues in the initial trial, Amgen remains optimistic about the drug’s tolerability and effectiveness. Further research will provide a clearer picture of MariTide’s impact on weight loss beyond 52 weeks and its potential to offer a novel approach to combating obesity.

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