Never Mind Covid, Investors Want a Pfizer Obesity Pill

Some of this year’s best performers in the healthcare sector are companies expected to profit from the anti-obesity drug craze, with Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk shares both up more than 40% each. Much of the rest of the industry is underwater, with some of the biggest decliners being pandemic winners such as Pfizer and Moderna.

It is little wonder, then, that investors were hoping Pfizer could jump to the winning camp with an obesity pill. But the company’s silence on its experimental oral medication, danuglipron, during its earnings release Tuesday, is worrying Wall Street. “Not one mention [of danuglipron] in the prepared remarks from Pfizer,” noted Will Sevush, a healthcare strategist for Jefferies. Before today’s earnings, David Risinger, a Leerink Partners analyst, had written that Pfizer might even release data from its mid-stage study alongside the earnings results as soon as Tuesday.

During the call, analysts repeatedly pressed Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla about the medication, but he urged them to wait, noting the company hadn’t seen the data, which is expected before year-end. “I know the interest is very high right now, but I want to be very prudent in not saying things without the data,” he said. TD Cowen analyst Steva Scala noted he wasn’t hearing “confidence-building statements” from management.

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