Image source, Reuters
By Mariko Oi
The maker of weight-loss drug, Wegovy, has become Europe's most valuable firm dethroning the French luxury conglomerate LVMH.
Shares rose after the Danish pharmaceutical giant, Novo Nordisk, launched the popular drug in the UK.
At the close of trading on Monday, the firm had a stock market valuation of $428bn (£339bn).
Wegovy is an obesity treatment that is taken once a week which tricks people into thinking that they are already full, so they end up eating less and losing weight.
Famous personalities such as Elon Musk are among the reported users of the drug, which has captivated Hollywood and the public more widely since it was approved by regulators in the US in 2021.
Wegovy and Ozempic - a diabetes treatment with similar effects - have been described as "miracle" drugs.
But experts warn the jabs are not a quick fix nor a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise.
In trials, users often put weight back on after stopping treatment.
There has been a global shortage of the jabs so only limited stock arrived for the UK's National Health System (NHS).
The company said it would continue to restrict global supplies as it worked to ramp up manufacturing.
In the UK, NHS guidelines say patients can only access Wegovy, which contains the drug semaglutide, if they are significantly overweight and have weight-related health problems.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), nearly one in three adults are obese in the UK which is the highest level in Europe.
Last month, a new trial showed Wegovy has also been proven to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
While the findings still have to be fully reviewed, experts agreed the results were potentially significant.