Orexigen Resolves Dispute With Takeda Over Obesity Trial Do-Over

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., whose early release of trial data for an obesity drug drew criticism from U.S. regulators, resolved a dispute with partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. over how to pay for a new study.

Orexigen will be responsible for paying for the new trial up to the currently projected total cost of the study, after which the companies will split the expenses, according to a statement Thursday. Takeda will give marketing rights for the drug, Contrave, back to Orexigen for Canada and Mexico, retaining only the right to promote the drug in the U.S.

The agreement gives Orexigen a way to move forward after the release of the early trial data, which appeared to show a reduction in heart-related deaths, an effect that vanished when fuller data became available. The Food and Drug Administration said the early release compromised the trial’s integrity and the company would have to run a second heart-safety test, and Takeda balked at footing part of the bill.

Orexigen gained as much as 24 percent to $4.75 in early trading. Through Wednesday, the stock had sunk 37 percent this year.

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