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Investors piled into exchange-traded funds tracking Novo Nordisk (NVO-N) in the last three months as the Danish drugmaker rides a wave of demand for its diabetes and weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy.

The VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH-Q), which has Novo Nordisk among its biggest holdings and total assets of $413.5 million, has seen net inflows of $52.2 million from Aug. 8, according to Lipper data, even as prices fell 2.8%.

Meanwhile, Novo’s shares have climbed 27% and rival Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY-N) has rallied 31.7% since Aug. 8 after the Danish drugmaker said its obesity drug Wegovy reduced the risk of a major cardiovascular event like a stroke by 20% in overweight or obese people with a history of heart disease.

“Novo Nordisk is one of the largest contributors to (VanEck Pharmaceutical’s) performance,” said Dylan Desai, associate product manager at VanEck.

“These drugs introduce a brand new category to the market, and so with that comes really enhanced returns.”

As the global obesity crisis gathers pace, Morgan Stanley Research expects the market for obesity drugs to go from a $2.4 billion category in 2022 to $77 billion in 2030, according to a note last month.

The $233 million iShares MSCI Denmark fund (EDEN-A), a fourth of whose holdings are Novo Nordisk, posted net inflows of $9.8 million so far in October and is on track for its best monthly showing since May.

Price of the Danish fund, however, was down 8.5% from Aug. 7 close, compared to the 9.3% slide in the broader Vanguard European Stock Index Fund (VGK-A).

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 12/04/24 4:15pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
NVO-N
Novo Nordisk A/S ADR
-0.71%124.51
PPH-Q
Vaneck Pharmaceutical ETF
-1.52%85.48
LLY-N
Eli Lilly and Company
-1.05%751.64
EDEN-A
Denmark Ishares MSCI ETF
-1.89%118.18
VGK-A
Europe ETF FTSE Vanguard
-1.72%65.07

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