Playing in the Hot Obesity Market, Carmot Braves Chilly IPO Waters

NASDAQ Market site/iStock

Pictured: NASDAQ Stock Exchange headquarters/iStockJHVEPhoto

Carmot Therapeutics on Friday filed for an initial public offering (IPO), banking on its pipeline of GLP-1 agonists and the multibillion-dollar potential of the obesity market.

Carmot did not disclose how many shares of its common stock will be put up for sale or its projected earnings from the planned offering. The company expects to wrap up its IPO before the year closes, after which it will trade on Nasdaq under the proposed ticker CRMO, according to a Nov. 17 SEC filing.

The California-based biotech is advancing a pipeline of “life-changing therapeutics for people living with metabolic diseases,” particularly obesity and diabetes, per the SEC filing. One of its most mature candidates is CT-868, a dual agonist of both the GLP-1 and GIP receptors, both of which play crucial roles in the regulation of insulin secretion, appetite and weight.

CT-868 is being developed for type 1 diabetes patients who are overweight or obese, and is designed to be a once-daily injectable therapy. Earlier this month, Carmot launched a Phase II trial of the candidate in this indication.

Last month at the Obesity Society's Obesity Week 2023, Carmot presented 26-week data from a placebo-controlled, double-blinded and randomized Phase II study of CT-868 in type 2 diabetes patients with overweight or obesity. Results demonstrated that the candidate induced significant improvements in HbA1c, blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors.

According to its website, Carmot is also advancing a dual GLP-1/GIP agonist for type 2 diabetes with obesity, dubbed CT-388, as well as an orally available small-molecule GLP-1 agonist for the same indication, called CT-996. The California–based biotech is also working on a preclinical-stage candidate for Prader-Willi syndrome.

Carmot will use the proceeds from its IPO to fund the development of its clinical-stage candidates, as well as support its preclinical projects, general corporate operations and, potentially, “to in-license, acquire or invest” in other businesses, platforms or assets.

With its Nasdaq bid, Carmot joins the small club of biotechs that have braved the fraught 2023 market, contending with an economic downturn, high interest rates and increasingly discerning investors. Compared with the more than 150 offerings in 2021, only a few dozen companies have gone public this year so far, including Cargo Therapeutics and Lexeo Therapeutics, both of which made their offers earlier this month.

According to an analysis by Endpoints News, the IPO drought is likely to continue until next year, particularly amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Carmot is pinning its hopes on the lucrative obesity market, which some analysts expect could reach $200 billion in value. Though this space is dominated by Novo Nordisk, which owns Wegovy (semaglutide), and Eli Lilly, which sells the newly approved Zepbound (tirzepatide), even a small slice of the market could mean a windfall for Carmot.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at or

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