A pharmacist displays boxes of Ozempic, a semaglutide injection drug used for treating type 2 diabetes made by Novo Nordisk, at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on March 29, 2023.
George Frey | Reuters
Eli Lilly on Thursday said supply of its blockbuster diabetes drug Mounjaro has improved within the U.S. after months of widespread shortages.
Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical giant noted that it remains to be working to extend production capability for the treatment and other drugs amid increased demand.
The remarks suggest that Eli Lilly’s initial efforts to expand manufacturing capability for Mounjaro are beginning to repay. Demand for the treatment is soaring, largely as a consequence of its off-label ability to cause significant weight reduction. U.S. regulators could potentially approve the drug for weight reduction this yr, which could push up demand much more.
During an earnings call Thursday, Eli Lilly executives said the corporate experienced tight supply for Mounjaro throughout a lot of the third quarter. Mounjaro raked in $1.4 billion in sales for the quarter, helping the corporate beat expectations on each the highest and bottom lines.
But U.S. product shipments of Mounjaro have recently increased, and inventory levels at U.S. drug wholesalers have improved, in line with Eli Lilly Chief Financial Officer Anat Ashkenazi.
She noted that each one doses of Mounjaro at the moment are listed as available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s shortage database. Meanwhile, Mounjaro supply stays tight internationally, Ashkenazi added.
Eli Lilly is on course to realize its goal of doubling production capability for drugs similar to Mounjaro and its other diabetes treatment Trulicity, Ashkenazi said. Each drugs work by mimicking hormones produced within the gut called incretins to suppress an individual’s appetite and regulate blood sugar.
Ashkenazi pointed to the corporate’s latest facility in North Carolina, which is now “online” to supply additional drug assembly capability. Eli Lilly has also invested greater than $3 billion to construct two latest manufacturing sites in its home state of Indiana.
But Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said throughout the earnings call that the corporate remains to be “aggressively planning” further production buildup for Mounjaro and other drugs.
He noted that the corporate has been inking third-party manufacturing agreements with a “diverse portfolio” of contractors, with Eli Lilly “buying up as much capability as available” of their systems.
“This is de facto all-hands-on-deck,” Ricks said. “It’s an issue we work on day-after-day. So we’re in no way pleased with the capability.”
Eli Lilly’s major rival in the load loss drug space, Novo Nordisk, remains to be navigating its own supply constraints of diabetes drug Ozempic and obesity treatment Wegovy.
Ozempic and Wegovy sparked the load loss industry gold rush last yr, pushing Eli Lilly and other corporations similar to Pfizer to ramp up their investments within the space.
Initial studies have suggested that Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro could also be even more practical at reducing weight than Wegovy and Ozempic.
Don’t miss these stories from CNBC PRO: