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Amgen Scraps Weight-Loss Pill

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) on Thursday said it will stop developing its experimental weight loss pill and instead move forward with its injectable drug and other products in development for obesity.

Amgen is among several drugmakers racing to join the red-hot weight loss drug space dominated by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, which some analysts say could be worth $100 billion by the end of the decade. But the company has other opportunities to capture a slice of the market.

“Given the profile we’ve seen with [the oral drug], we will not pursue further development. Instead, in obesity, we’re differentially investing in MariTide and a number of preclinical assets,” Jay Bradner, Amgen’s chief scientific officer, said during an earnings call Thursday.

Amgen is developing an injectable obesity treatment called MariTide, which is in an ongoing midstage trial in obese or overweight adults without diabetes. The company will release initial data from that study later this year, and Bradner said Amgen is “very pleased” with the results so far.

The company said it is working with regulators to plan a late-stage trial for the treatment. Amgen said Thursday it is planning a stage two trial on the drug in diabetes treatment as well.

AMGN shares bounced $36.70, or 13.2%, to $315.09.

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