Novo Nordisk pioneered the use of insulin-stimulating diabetes drugs as weight loss treatments when it launched a high-dose version of its daily shot Victoza as Saxenda in 2014. It followed on that success years later with a weekly shot, marketed as Ozempic for diabetes and Wegovy for weight loss. (Ozempic is also being used off-label as a weight loss drug as demand has outstripped Novo’s supply.)
Those drugs activate only one insulin-secreting hormone, called GLP-1. Lilly’s Mounjaro stimulates a second one, dubbed GIP, and Viking — better known for development of an experimental drug for the liver disease NASH — is trying to duplicate that treatment approach.