Updated on 16 May 2012
Arena Pharmaceuticals obesity drug, Lorcaserin, gets FDA's technical clearance
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Lorcaserin, a chemical drug that aims to control obesity by altering the serotonin receptors in the brain that control hunger pangs, developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, based in San Diego, California, has been given a technical clearance by FDA's technical committee on May 10, 2012.
This will be the second drug to promote weight loss approved by the FDA panel in 2012. In march, Qnexa from Arena's rival Vivus. Both these drugs have been cleared by the technical panel despite data that indicates that it may have some adverse effect on the functioning of heart valves in patients.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is likely to approve both these drugs for commercial sale before June-end. The technical committee's recommendation is not mandatory on FDA but the regulatory usually relies on the technical panel's decision in such matters.
FDA technical panel's decision on Lorcaserin was announced on May 10. This chemical creates a feeling of fullness in patients due to its chemical action on the serotonin receptors. The drug induces weight loss and maintains weight in individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. People with BMI more than 30 are considered obese.
"The advisory committee's positive vote supports our belief in Lorcaserin as a potential new treatment option for the medical management of overweight and obesity," said Mr Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We will continue to work with the FDA as the agency completes its review of the Lorcaserin new drug application."