Eli Lilly is in prime position with its new GIP/GLP-1 launch tirzepatide and its entrenched diabetes blockbuster Trulicity. Chalk it up to a temporary shortage of its chief rival Novo Nordisk’s competitor products Wegovy and Ozempic, which a Lilly exec said has helped spur “unprecedented demand” for the Indianapolis-based drugmaker’s incretin-based meds.
Still, the fact that so many patients are clamoring for Trulicity and tirzepatide—approved in Type 2 diabetes this summer as Mounjaro—could prove to be a double-edged sword for Lilly, whose executives on Tuesday warned of supply challenges ahead of a capacity-doubling manufacturing expansion planned for the end of 2023.
Trulicity and Mounjaro performed exceptionally well in the third quarter of 2022, bringing home $1.85 billion and $187.3 million in sales, with Mounjaro’s haul handily beating revenue estimates of $81 million.
Intense demand for the meds has been fueled, in part, by “limited availability of competitors’ GLP-1s,” Eli Lilly CFO Anat Ashkenazi said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call Tuesday.
Those would be Novo Nordisk’s respective rivals in weight loss and diabetes, Wegovy and Ozempic, which have been suffering from supply issues for the better part of a year.