Obesity affects approximately 13% of the global population and is typically treated by reducing weight and improving overall health. Evidence suggests that obesity has been associated with the onset of multiple other chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease [CVD], diabetes, and cancer), in addition to comorbidities and mortality.

Lack of treatment options and innovation have left the market with unmet needs.

Globally, there are 197 marketed products for obesity treatment. The majority of these drugs are small molecules that target gut hormones and GCPR. GlobalData’s upcoming Frontier Pharma: First-in-Class Innovation in Obesity report shows that 192 out of the 266 products in development for obesity have a disclosed molecular target.

Analysis indicates a high level of diversity in the obesity pipeline, consisting of a wide range of molecular targets. Of the 192 molecules with a disclosed molecular target, gut hormones and GCPR are the most commonly targeted, accounting for 23% and 12% of the overall pipeline (Figure 1). The rest of the pipeline is made up of smaller target families, such as lipid synthesis inhibitors, growth hormone, angiogenic inhibitors, and leptin receptors, presenting significantly higher diversity than is seen in the current market.

There are 93 first-in-class products in the pipeline for obesity, representing 35% of pipeline products with a disclosed molecular target. This shows that there is potential for the development of commercially successful products to address the unmet needs in this indication, such as long-term treatment without increasing incidence of major adverse cardiovascular effects.