Pfizer plans to discontinue an experimental drug due to high rates of adverse side effects.

You may be thinking the drug in question is the mRNA COVID-19 shots.

No, that’s not the case.

The pharmaceutical giant will scrap a twice-daily version of its experimental weight loss pill.

“Pfizer said it would stop developing the twice-daily version of its experimental weight loss pill after obese patients taking the drug lost weight but had trouble tolerating the drug in a mid-stage clinical study,” CNBC reports.


“The new data is a blow to Pfizer and its hopes to win a $10 billion slice of the booming weight loss drug market, which CEO Albert Bourla previously said could eventually grow to $90 billion,” the outlet added.


The drugmaker observed high rates of adverse side effects, which were mostly mild and gastrointestinal, among patients. A significant share of patients also stopped taking the pill, which aims to be a more convenient alternative to highly popular weight loss injections.

“At this time, twice-daily danuglipron formulation will not advance into Phase 3 studies,” the company said.

But Pfizer said it still plans to release data on a once-a-day version of the drug in the first half of 2024, which will “inform a path forward.” The pharmaceutical giant will wait to see that data before deciding whether to start a phase three study on the once-daily pill, which Wall Street views as the more competitive form of the treatment.

Shares of Pfizer closed 5% lower Friday after it announced the trial results.

The news is an added blow to Pfizer, which has seen plummeting demand for its experimental COVID-19 shots.

Fox Business noted:

Pfizer says danuglipron is “intended to keep blood sugar at healthy levels and work by increasing the amount of insulin released and lowering the amount of glucagon released into the blood,” while also slowing down the digestion of food and increasing the feeling of fullness after eating.

Pfizer said the recent study showed “statistically significant reductions from baseline in body weight for all doses, with mean reductions ranging from -6.9% to -11.7%, compared to +1.4% for placebo at 32 weeks, and -4.8% to -9.4%, compared to +0.17% for placebo at 26 weeks.”

“We believe an improved once-daily formulation of danuglipron could play an important role in the obesity treatment paradigm, and we will focus our efforts on gathering the data to understand its potential profile,” Mikael Dolsten, the chief scientific officer and president of Pfizer Research and Development, said in a statement. “Results from ongoing and future studies of the once-daily danuglipron modified release formulation will inform a potential path forward with an aim to improve the tolerability profile and optimize both study design and execution.”

The company anticipates releasing data regarding the once-daily version of the pill in 2024.

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