Novo Nordisk shares slump on obesity drug supply challenges


COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Novo Nordisk shares fell as much as 16% on Monday after the Danish drugmaker late on Friday announced that it will not be able to meet demand for its new weight-loss drug after supply issues in the United States.

The obesity market has proved difficult for pharmaceuticals companies, but Novo made a breakthrough with its Wegovy drug, which helps to achieve weight loss of 17% on average over almost two years.

The Danish drugmaker said in a stock announcement after market close on Friday that a contract manufacturer filling syringes for pens to inject its Wegovy drug had temporarily stopped deliveries and manufacturing after issues with good manufacturing practice.

As a consequence, fewer new patients will start treatment with the drug in the first half of next year. Novo expects to be able to meet U.S. demand in the second half of next year.

Analysts at JP Morgan, which cut its Novo Nordisk rating to neutral on Monday, said the supply issues would also give it less time to establish the drug on the market before the 2024 launch of rival Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide drug for obesity.


“We do believe that the overall market potential is substantial and we remain committed and very confident in the full potential of Wegovy,” Novo Nordisk finance chief Karsten Munk Knudsen told an investor call on Monday

“There should be sufficient space for both agents in the market.”

The company’s shares were down almost 13% at 0818 GMT, having closed on Friday with a year-to-date gain of 76%.

(Reporting by Stine JacobsenEditing by David Goodman)