2nd Weight Loss Trial Shows Cardiac Benefit for ARNA Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 10:17
Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ARNA) said on Tuesday detailed results from a second pivotal trial of its experimental obesity drug, lorcaserin, show that it improves cardiovascular risk factors.

The company reported in August that the 4,000-patient trial found that 47.2 percent of subjects taking lorcaserin, an oral drug, lost 5 percent or more of their weight after a year, compared with 25 percent of placebo patients.

The late-breaking data were presented by Lee Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center, at Obesity 2009, the 27th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society.

"Safety is of paramount importance in treating patients who are overweight or have obesity," said Dr. Kaplan. "We need new therapies that help patients reduce their weight and improve cardiovascular factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, while avoiding cardiac toxicity and symptoms of depression. Lorcaserin works by selectively affecting a unique and important pathway, which allows for significant weight loss and improvements in these important risk factors, along with an excellent safety and tolerability profile."

William R. Shanahan, M.D., Arena's Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, stated, "Treatment with lorcaserin offers patients the opportunity to achieve sustainable weight loss in a well-tolerated manner, resulting in improved cardiometabolic health and quality of life. In order to improve overall health, it's important to see these measurements moving in the right direction as patients reduce their weight. Based on lorcaserin's safety and efficacy profile, we expect primary care physicians to find lorcaserin an attractive first-line therapy for weight management."

Specifically, the new data demonstrate that treatment with lorcaserin over one year was associated with highly significant improvements or favorable trends compared to placebo in multiple secondary endpoints evaluated in the trial:

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