Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) recently announced the submission of a marketing application
for its obesity treatment, Belviq, in Canada. Arena Pharma's
partner, Eisai Inc.'s subsidiary, Eisai Limited, submitted a New
Drug Submission (NDS) for Belviq to the Canadian regulatory body,
Arena Pharma and Eisai are looking to get Belviq approved in
Canada for chronic weight management in addition to a
reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity in adult
patients who are obese (initial body mass index (BMI) of ≥ 30 kg
per square meter) or overweight patients (BMI ≥ 27 kg per square
meter). The patients should have atleast one additional
cardiovascular risk factor like hypertension, type II diabetes,
dyslipidemia or other such diseases. Arena Pharma is entitled to
receive $500,000 from Eisai for the Canada NDS as a milestone
Arena Pharma and Eisai's collaboration for Belviq was
initially signed in Jul 2010. Under the marketing and supply
collaboration, Eisai gained commercialization rights to Belviq in
the US and its territories. In 2012, the agreement was amended
and Eisai received commercialization rights in most areas of
North and South America.
The obesity market represents huge commercial potential.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the worldwide
obese population has almost doubled since 1980. Furthermore, 1.5
billion people around the globe are overweight with 500 million
falling under the obese category.
Earlier this month, Arena Pharma launched Belviq in the US and
received a milestone payment of $65 million from Eisai. However,
the company has faced some hurdles in gaining approval for Belviq
in the EU. In May, Arena Pharma announced that it has withdrawn
its application in the EU. However, the company plans to file the
Currently approved therapies for obesity include
) Qsymia, which was launched in Sep 2012. Qsymia's sales are yet
to pick up - first quarter 2013 sales were $4.1 million.
Arena Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). At
present, companies like
Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company
) look well positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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