Banks predict Novo slowdown once patent expires

Semaglutide goes off patent in 2032, which worries two international analysts. 
Photo: Richard Drew/AP/Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: Richard Drew/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

Analyst houses Jefferies and Bernstein have broken the otherwise positive banking consensus with a skeptical outlook for Novo Nordisk’s future growth, according to Danish media Finans.

A major reason is Novo Nordisk’s dependence on semaglutide, which is the key active ingredient in the blockbusters Ozempic and Wegovy.

When the patent for semaglutide expires in 2032, competitors are expected to be able to rush in with cheaper alternatives, which could put an end to Novo Nordisk’s growth.

“Consensus continues to assume growth beyond 2030, but my model shows a slowdown and I am concerned that the vast majority of the growth is driven by one molecule,” writes Florent Cespedes, pharmaceutical analyst at Bernstein in an analysis.

Analyst Peter Welford from Jefferies shares the doubts and emphasizes the lack of diversification in the company’s portfolio. He therefore sees an increased need for further research and development at Novo Nordisk for it to continue to grow after 2032.

Diversification and further research are also focal points for Novo Nordisk’s CEO, Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen. He strongly believes that the company’s clinical data will cement their position in the treatment of both diabetes and obesity and ensure continued growth, according to Finans.

However, to avoid a slowdown in growth, Novo Nordisk has several potential drugs in the pipeline for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The most promising candidate, according to the firm, is combination drug cagrisema. Cucial data about the obesity candidate will be released at the end of the year.

English edit: Catherine Brett  

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