Biotech VCs See Room for More Growth in Obesity Drug Market

Venture capitalists are financing drugmakers seeking to improve upon today’s blockbuster weight-loss medications or combat their side effects.

New obesity medications have helped millions of people lose weight but can cause nausea and lead to a loss of muscle as well as fat. And some people don’t respond to the new treatments. Several biotechs see opportunities for novel therapies in these drawbacks.

The new drugs, such as Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Eli Lilly’s Zepbound, are injected and activate receptors for hormones, known as incretins, to suppress appetite. Biotechs are advancing oral medicines to counteract muscle loss as well as drugs that work in new ways for people who don’t respond to the new obesity treatments.

The growing market is complex because companies are studying many potential therapies and the future of obesity treatment may involve combinations of drugs, investors said.

“Anticipating where the puck is going is very challenging because there are so many products being developed,” said Patrick Enright, a founder and managing director of biomedical investor Longitude Capital…

Several biotechs are advancing medicines that could be combined with incretin drugs to preserve muscle and optimize weight loss.

BioAge’s drug is designed to mimic a protein the body makes more of during exercise to improve metabolism and muscle function, said Chief Executive Kristen Fortney. The company recently raised $170 million in financing led by Sofinnova Investments with participation from Longitude and other investors. The funds will support clinical trials of its drug in combination with Zepbound and other incretin drugs…




BioAge Labs



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