Eli Lilly prepares for as many as 5 new drug launches next year

An Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured in Branchburg, New Jersey
An Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured at 50 ImClone Drive in Branchburg, New Jersey, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) said on Tuesday it hopes to launch as many as five new treatments next year that could drive growth through the decade as it bets on multi-billion dollar markets for treating obesity and Alzheimer's disease.

The drugmaker is spending heavily on marketing and research and development as it prepares for data release and potential approvals for two keenly watched drugs next year, donanemab for Alzheimer's and tirzepatide for obesity.

The higher spending led Lilly to forecast 2023 profit below analysts' estimates and its shares fell about 1% to $363.59. The company's shares have been up about 31% this year.

Tirzepatide received the U.S. health regulator's approval for type 2 diabetes this year and is sold under the brand name Mounjaro.

Lilly expects its marketing and related expenses to be between $6.9 billion and $7.1 billion in 2023, $500 million higher than this year.

"I think we see two of them as kind of generational opportunities, tirzepatide for obesity and donanemab, and the other three as being great opportunities in very competitive spaces," Lilly Chief Executive David Ricks said.

The other three treatments are mirikizumab for a type of inflammatory bowel disease, lebrikizumab for atopic dermatitis and cancer drug pirtobrutinib.

The company also plans to spend between $8.2 billion and $8.4 billion for research and development next year.

Lilly expects revenue between $30.3 billion and $30.8 billion for 2023, higher than Wall Street estimates of $30.12 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company forecast 2023 adjusted profit per share of $8.10 to $8.30, lower than analysts' estimates of $9.15.

Lilly expects no sales from its COVID-19 antibody drugs after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pulled authorization for its therapy bebtelovimab last month.

Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Shounak Dasgupta

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