Over the past few months, weight-loss treatments have been making headlines in the world's financial media, so much so, that it was inevitable that new challengers would set out in pursuit of this fabulous windfall.

Zealand Pharma, already a specialist in gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases (linked to diet and weight), initiated the development of alternative treatments to the famous Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro.

Ogling the stratospheric growth of its precursors ( Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly share prices have gained 55% and 73% respectively since debut 2023), the company, led by CEO Adam Steensberg, believes there is still time to make its mark in the appetite suppressant industry.

The market has proved him right, with the company boasting a 127% increase in sales over this period, thanks to the promising potential of survodutide and amyline, the basic components of the treatments it is developing in partnership with the German pharmaceutical group Boehringer Ingelheim.

The company's hopes are based on a number of strong arguments. The shortage of semaglutide-based treatments at the end of last year suggests that new manufacturers have a card to play. So too does the exponential growth of the market (Goldman Sachs estimates that revenues from anti-obesity treatments could reach $100 billion by 2030) and the variety of diseases associated with overweight.

"I continue to believe that Zealand Pharma's position as a key player in the next wave of obesity treatments will continue to drive share price appreciation in 2024," reckons Jefferies analyst Lucy Codrington, who has ranked the stock among her current favorites in the European mid-cap space.

However, the Danish biotech will have to play hardball. In addition to the behemoth AstraZeneca, many other pharmaceutical groups want a piece of the anti-obesity pie.