Fat-Fighting Drug Nears Market

Orexigen Therapeutics plans to seek FDA approval next year

A local company has cleared a major hurdle in bringing its anti-obesity drug to market.

Orexigen Therapeutics said Monday that its obesity-drug candidate Contrave met its main goals in three late-stage clinical trials, and also surpassed a Food and Drug Administration requirement for effectiveness, reported the North County Times.

Patients who took Contrave had significantly greater weight loss than those who took a placebo, and the drug reduced other risk factors like waist circumference, the company said. For diabetes patients, the drug also diminished blood sugar levels.

The company, which is based in Carmel Valley, said it plans to seek FDA approval for Contrave in early 2010.

The most serious side effects in the trial included a gallbladder infection and seizure, which affected two patients each. One patient reported heart palpitations, another experienced poor circulation in the limbs and one had vertigo.

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