WW International — more commonly known as WeightWatchers — on Monday announced it has purchased telehealth platform Sequence, positioning the company to begin selling obesity drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic.
Sequence, which launched in 2021, serves around 24,000 members nationwide as of February, and earns around $25 million in annual revenue. Sequence is a $99 a month subscription service that provides telehealth visits with doctors who are able to prescribe obesity drugs like Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mounjaro.
These drugs work by acting like GLP-1, a hormone that occurs naturally and stimulates the production of insulin, slowing the emptying of the stomach and making users feel fuller longer.
Currently, Wegovy is approved by FDA to treat obesity in people with a BMI of 30 or more, while Ozempic is approved to treat diabetes in people with a BMI of 27 or more plus at least one weight-related condition, like high blood pressure or cholesterol.
WeightWatchers is purchasing Sequence for $132 million in cash and stock and intends to promote Sequence's service to WeightWatchers members, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to Gary Foster, WeightWatchers' chief scientific officer, the company plans to create programs aimed at people using weight-loss drugs that includes an emphasis on strength training and eating high-protein foods, since people who lose weight can also lose muscle mass.
Obesity drugs are "the biggest innovation in our industry today," said WeightWatchers CEO Sima Sistani. "There's real excitement for the health outcomes of these medications." Sistani added there have been concerns that people taking weight loss medications need support in order to make changes to their diet and exercise as well.
"As science advances rapidly, we know there is a significant opportunity to improve outcomes for those using medications," Sistani said. (Leo, Reuters, 3/7; Petersen, Wall Street Journal, 3/6)
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