Obesity revolution gorges on dialysis maker
LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Kidney dialysis kit-makers look set to be the latest victim of the obesity drug boom. On Wednesday, shares in Germany-listed Fresenius Medical Care (FMEG.DE) fell 20% after a medical trial showed a Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) drug can reduce the risk of kidney failure. With the prospect of lower earnings in the future, the company’s parent, a 14 billion euro conglomerate also called Fresenius (FREG.DE), may accelerate much-needed surgery.
Diabetes and obesity drugs are showing their fringe benefits. In a recent drug trial, Wegovy, an obesity remedy made by Denmark’s Novo Nordisk, reduced the incidence of serious cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks by 20% in overweight patients. On Tuesday, a diabetes drug, which shares the same active ingredient semaglutide as Wegovy, showed it could reduce kidney failure. The success highlights how these drugs, which mimic a natural hormone called GLP-1, may pummel the medical world and beyond, leaving companies grappling with unexpected reductions in earnings.