Orexigen Surges After Saying It Will Revive Obesity Drug
Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. (OREX) surged the most in nine months after reaching an agreement with U.S. regulators that allows the company to renew development of the experimental obesity drug Contrave.
Orexigen increased 72 cents, or 49 percent, to $2.19 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading for the biggest single-day gain since Dec. 8. Shares of the La Jolla, California-based company have declined 73 percent this year.
Orexigen, one of three companies with rival obesity treatments competing for approval, will start a two-year clinical trial to study heart risks in the first half of next year, aiming to receive clearance for Contrave from the Food and Drug Administration in 2014, the company said yesterday in a statement.
Orexigen said June 3 it would halt U.S. development of Contrave after the FDA said a large study on heart risks would be required before the drug could be approved, a move the company called unprecedented.
The study would require fewer than 10,000 patients and less than two years from the beginning to the interim analysis, the company said.
Orexigen and partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. of Osaka, Japan, have been vying with Mountain View, California-based Vivus Inc. (VVUS) and Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARNA) of San Diego to introduce the first new obesity medicine in the U.S. in more than a decade.
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