UPDATE: FDA Rejects Qnexa (7/16/2010)
The Huffington Post reported that on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to release the review of Vivus Inc.’s pill, Qnexa. The first of three new weight loss drugs to be assessed by the FDA, Qnexa showed promising results in clinical trials. Patients lost between 13 and 15 percent of their body weight, but many who began the trial dropped out due to side effects, which included memory and concentration problems.
The effort to produce an effective weight loss drug without major side effects has been going on for decades. Of the three drugs up for review, two combine older medications. The third is an entirely new medication, that is safer but showed more modest results.
Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Lorcaserin will be reviewed by an FDA panel in September, while Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.’s Contrave will be the subject of a December panel. “There’s no obvious clear winner,” said analyst Steve Yoo. “If you look at different aspects, each drug shines.”