Amgen Stock Skyrockets on CEO’s Obesity Drug Progress Update

Amgen Stock

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) witnessed a significant surge in its shares following positive remarks from its chief executive officer regarding the progress of its experimental obesity drug, MariTide.

During a call with investors, Amgen CEO Robert Bradway expressed optimism about MariTide’s early results, stating that the company was “very encouraged” by the findings. He emphasized MariTide’s differentiated profile and its potential to address critical unmet medical needs in the obesity treatment landscape.

The market responded positively to Bradway’s comments, with Amgen’s shares soaring as much as 15.9% when trading opened on Friday, marking its largest intraday rise since July 2009.

MariTide positions Amgen as a potential competitor to industry leaders such as Eli Lilly & Co. and Novo Nordisk A/S in the weight-loss market. Analysts anticipate strong demand for anti-obesity drugs, with estimates projecting substantial annual sales by 2030.

William Blair analyst Matt Phipps upgraded his rating on Amgen stock to outperform, citing MariTide’s potential for blockbuster status and Amgen’s capacity to maximize its development.

In response to Amgen’s advancements in obesity treatment, shares of Novo Nordisk fell as much as 5.3%, while Lilly experienced a 2.1% decline before US markets opened on Friday.

MariTide offers a promising alternative to existing weight-loss treatments, as it is administered less frequently and has demonstrated significant weight loss in early-stage studies. The drug utilizes an antibody-drug conjugate mechanism, targeting gut hormones to facilitate weight loss.

Amgen is already preparing for the production of MariTide, anticipating late-stage studies in obesity-related conditions and diabetes. The drug is expected to be administered using a handheld autoinjector monthly.

As part of its strategic focus, Amgen will discontinue the development of another early-stage drug, AMG 786, to prioritize the advancement of MariTide and capitalize on its potential in addressing obesity and related health conditions.

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