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The drug giant Eli Lilly said Thursday that its diabetes drug Mounjaro helped patients with the condition lose 15.7% of their body weight in a clinical trial, a result that Wall Street analysts expect to pave the way for the therapy’s approval as a weight loss treatment.

Mounjaro is the latest drug in a class known as GLP-1s or incretins — the same class as Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic, which has become a sensation because of its ability to help patients lose weight. Mounjaro has shown the potential to lead to even greater weight loss than Ozempic, and industry experts expect that it will eventually generate many billions of dollars in annual sales. Analysts at SVB Securities projected in December that Mounjaro sales could reach $26.4 billion by 2030.


Eli Lilly on Thursday also announced quarterly earnings of $1.64 per share, adjusted for one-time items, slightly below analyst expectations, on sales of $6.96 billion. Sales were hurt because of a comparison to a year ago, when the company’s Covid-19 monoclonal antibodies were still on the market. Mounjaro sales for the first quarter were $586 million, largely for people with diabetes, compared to an analyst consensus of $433.2 million.

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