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Roche: shares boosted by good results in obesity treatment

( - Roche shares were boosted on the Zurich stock exchange on Thursday by the announcement of positive results from a clinical trial of its experimental treatment for obesity, a crucial market for the Swiss laboratory as well as for its competitors.

In early trading, the stock was up by over 4% following this announcement, posting the biggest rise on the SMI index, while its sector index in Europe was only up by 0.3%.

In a press release, Roche states that a weekly subcutaneous injection of its CT-388 over a period of 24 weeks resulted in a statistically significant weight loss of 18.8% compared to the placebo group.

At the end of the six months of treatment, 100% of participants showed a weight loss of at least 5%, 85% of more than 10%, 70% of at least 15% and 45% of at least 20%.

Beyond weight issues, the product also showed a beneficial effect on diabetes, as all participants with pre-diabetes at the time of enrolment became normoglycemic after 24 weeks of treatment, while those in the placebo group remained unchanged.

Levi Garraway, Roche's Chief Medical Officer and Head of Product Development, describes the data as "encouraging", underlining CT-388's potential as a best-in-class drug.

According to Roche, some four billion people - almost half the world's population - are expected to be obese or overweight by 2035.

The Basel-based biopharmaceutical group acquired CT-388 as part of its $2.7bn acquisition of California-based Carmot Therapeutics at the end of 2023.

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