Eli Lilly and Co. on July 14 unveiled plans to buy Versanis Bio in a deal that could be valued at up to $1.93 billion. If approved, the deal could shore up Lilly’s obesity portfolio as the market reaches a fever pitch. Versanis’s lead asset is bimagrumab, a monoclonal antibody that works directly on fat cells while preserving appetite and muscle mass. The drug is currently in phase 2 trials for weight loss, administered both solo and in combination with Novo Nordisk’s GLP-1 receptor agonist Ozempic, the direct rival to Lilly’s Mounjaro. Mounjaro is not yet FDA-approved specifically for weight loss, though a decision could be made by the end of the year. For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Mounjaro currently holds covered or better status for 82% of all insured lives under the pharmacy benefit. About 38% of lives have preferred access to Mounjaro, largely with utilization management restrictions applied.
SOURCE: MMIT Analytics, as of 7/17/23