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Amid launch spree, Eli Lilly expects revenue growth at the ‘high end of the industry,’ CFO says

Eli Lilly is entering 2023 still riding a high from last year.

Amid an expansion spree thanks to launches such as Mounjaro in diabetes, the company is gearing up for “another unprecedented year,” Chief Financial Officer Anat Ashkenazi said during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Lilly expects to reach the market with up to four new drugs in 2023, Ashkenazi said. Those are donanemab for Alzheimer’s disease, BTK inhibitor pertibrutinib, mirikizumab for plaque psoriasis and lebrikizumab for atopic dermatitis.

On top of those medicines, the company’s new Type 2 diabetes growth star Mounjaro is expected to gain a highly anticipated label expansion in obesity. Lilly has already initiated its rolling FDA submission in the indication and expects a U.S. launch to come late this year or early next year, Ashkenazi said.

All of this should help Eli Lilly deliver 2023 revenue growth in the mid-teen percentages, Ashkenazi said at JPM. Through the end of the decade, the company expects to post growth that’s “probably at the high end of the industry,” she added.

On the flip side of the revenue growth, Ashkenazi also faced a question about higher projected expenses from J.P. Morgan’s managing director Chris Schott. This year, the company plans a “one-time” increase in employee pay and to invest in marketing to support its new launches, Ashkenazi responded.

So far in the Mounjaro diabetes launch, patient uptake and interest has surprised even Lilly. In obesity, the company expects to launch into a market with more than 100 million U.S. patients and 650 million globally.

Lilly expects Mounjaro’s benefits in obesity will go beyond strictly weight loss and plans to prove the drug’s worth in complications such as obstructive sleep apnea, heart failure, kidney disease and others. Eventually, with that evidence, Lilly hopes to advance the treatment field and grow its drug’s reach.