Novo Nordisk teams with trending weight loss app Noom to help obesity patients

Novo Nordisk is hooking up with new-wave weight loss program Noom to support people with obesity.

The beyond-the-pill partnership will offer solutions for long-term behavior change and education for people with obesity in the U.S. As part of the deal, patients taking Novo's Saxenda who are enrolled in the SaxendaCare support program can get free access to Noom for 12 months.

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Novo Nordisk struck the deal after an eight-month pilot that found patients in SaxendaCare who also used Noom gained “significant value from the combined offering,” Camilla Sylvest, Novo executive vice president in commercial strategy and corporate affairs, said via email.

“Obesity being a chronic disease requires a full spectrum of ongoing weight management strategies: lifestyle change, increased physical activity and diet, as well as pharmacotherapy or other medical interventions. Noom’s digital weight management offering combines the power of artificial intelligence, mobile technology and psychology with the empathy of human coaches,” she said.

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The FDA approved Saxenda in late 2014 for chronic weight management and has built sales steadily. In 2018, sales topped $540 million, up more than 50% over 2017. More recently, Novo Nordisk reported six-month sales of Saxenda up 28% in North America, where Novo estimates it has a 68% share of the obesity market.

Its new partner Noom has been building its brand as new-age digital weight loss platform online since 2016, and it last year moved into TV. In the past year, Noom has spent $44 million on national TV ads, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker