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Weight loss drugs and the many use cases in medical treatments

Novo Nordisk's (NVO) Ozempic and Wegouvy and Eli Lilly's (LLY) Zepbound are the leading names in the latest GLP-1 weight loss drug cycle, a trend that has seen a variety of use cases sprout up since these brand names' inceptions late last year.

Yahoo Finance Health Reporter Anjalee Khemlani explains the new use cases being found for this class of drugs, including infertility treatments and even benefits for Alzheimer's patients.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode.

This post was written by Luke Carberry Mogan.

Video transcript


JULIE HYMAN: GLP-1 is known as diabetes or weight loss drugs may potentially be fit for different use cases. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani joins us now with more. And it feels like the use case is where the benefits of them keep popping up in sometimes unexpected places.


ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Yes, we do. The most recently in helping with infertility. And that's the reason why we're talking about this today. Because they feel like we've been bombarding everyone with just here's another option, here's another option, here's what people are talking about. But let's talk about where the clinical trials actually are, where the results are happening, and where the FDA actually has an opportunity to expand the labels of Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Zepbound. And they are looking at targeting them differently for each potential use.

The most recent we know, of course, is Wegovy. That is the weight loss drug alone from Novo Nordisk approved for heart treatment. Ozempic, which is Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug is currently in clinical trial for kidney treatment for those with diabetes and who are also overweight. And then Zepbound recently, we got a results for sleep apnea benefits this week. And that's Eli Lilly's weight loss only drug.

So I'm marking them out because we have to keep track of these is very different uses, very different labels, different prescriptions as a result. Meanwhile, clinical trials ongoing by either Novo, or Lilly, or even the NIH for all of these conditions that you see on your screen. So, infertility, Alzheimer's, bone fractures, even skin conditions, obesity in kids, and even to check of the safety in breastfeeding mothers. So that if they want to get back on it post birth, they can do that as well.

JULIE HYMAN: Is there any other drug historically that wasn't in the realm of like last turn of the century quackery that has had this many different varied indications?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: They do say stuff like statins that have been used for heart like they have multiple uses. They compare it to that. But this is where and why.

Initially, they were looking at this drug for so much more and so much more opportunity. And that's why you have the $100 million market for this drug, as well as all the other stuff that hasn't even been looked at yet. But clinical trials are likely like Parkinson's, bipolar disorder, anxiety, substance abuse addiction. Like the list just keeps getting longer.

JULIE HYMAN: But doesn't it feel too good to be true? We got to leave it there. We'll talk about that more next time, I guess.