Eli Lilly's edge over GLP-1 rivals tipped to drive Mounjaro sales to $34B by 2029

GlobalData has put out a forecast that shows how GLP-1 drugs could rapidly redefine what big looks like in drug sales. The analysts expect Mounjaro to bring in as much in 2029 as Eli Lilly’s entire portfolio did in 2023—and are tipping its Alzheimer’s disease prospect donanemab to add a further $5 billion. 

Diabetes drug Mounjaro generated (PDF) $5.2 billion in 2023, more than 40% of which landed in Lilly’s bank account across the final three months of the year. Zepbound, the same molecule rebadged for the weight-loss market, pulled in more than $175 million in its first quarter on the market. The products underpin Lilly’s belief that its total revenue will top $40 billion this year, up from $34 billion in 2023.

Eye-catching clinical data and explosive early growth have spurred analysts to reassess the sales ceilings for Lilly’s drug and Novo Nordisk’s rival GLP-1 receptor agonists Ozempic and Wegovy. GlobalData analysts added to the debate Wednesday, predicting that Mounjaro sales will hit $34 billion in 2029. The forecast reflects a belief that Lilly has an edge in the GLP-1 space. 

“Mounjaro’s novel dual mechanism not only underscores its clinical value but also its potential to become the top-selling drug in its category by 2029,” Eleni Tokali, pharma analyst at GlobalData, said in a statement. “Mounjaro’s projected growth rate signifies a potential shift in market dynamics in Eli Lilly’s favor.”

Tokali presented the Mounjaro growth forecast alongside details of expectations for donanemab, the Alzheimer’s drug candidate that Lilly is attempting to get over the line at the FDA. Lilly has faced setbacks on its path to market but an approval that would establish donanemab as a rival to Eisai and Biogen’s Leqembi is now in sight.   

GlobalData sees little to choose between the two anti-amyloid-beta antibodies, leading analysts to plot out annual sales forecasts that are joined at the hip every year through 2029. The analysts expect 2029 sales of both products to break the $5 billion barrier, a historically sizable sum made to look puny by the forecast runaway success of GLP-1 drugs.