Arena Expands Deal With Eisai on Sales of Obesity Drug

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARNA) said it expanded its marketing agreement with Eisai (4523) Co. for the diet drug Belviq and received an upfront payment of $60 million.

Eisai, based in Tokyo, will now market the product in all countries except South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Israel, and New Zealand, San Diego-based Arena said today in statement.

The two companies received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in June 2012 to market the diet pill in the U.S. and clearance from the Drug Enforcement Agency to start sales in May. Belviq was the first obesity drug approved by the FDA in 13 years. Eisai will double the size of Belviq’s sales force in the U.S. to 400 people by December 2013, the companies said in the statement.

“Additional work is needed to continue building the weight management market, and we are pleased with Eisai’s commitment to realizing the medical and commercial potential of Belviq,” Jack Lief, Arena’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “We look forward to the market growth of this important treatment option as we move into 2014.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in San Francisco at elopatto@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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