Weight loss drugs scrapped

Sanofi-Aventis announced this week that it would discontinue clinical trials of its anti-obesity drug, Acomplia. The decision followed similar moves by Pfizer and Merck, who also recently abandoned development of similar weight loss drugs. Why is everyone jumping ship? The drugs all target the cannabinoid receptor CB1 -- also the target receptor for marijuana - in order to suppress appetite (read how Acomplia's mechanism of action compares with other diet drugs linkurl:here).;http://www.the-sc

By | November 7, 2008

Sanofi-Aventis announced this week that it would discontinue clinical trials of its anti-obesity drug, Acomplia. The decision followed similar moves by Pfizer and Merck, who also recently abandoned development of similar weight loss drugs. Why is everyone jumping ship? The drugs all target the cannabinoid receptor CB1 -- also the target receptor for marijuana - in order to suppress appetite (read how Acomplia's mechanism of action compares with other diet drugs linkurl:here).;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/6/1/40/100/ However, the drugs have been under mounting scrutiny by regulatory entities in the US and Europe for increasing the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. Acomplia has been sold in Europe since 2006, but last month the company stopped marketing the drug there after the EMEA -- Europe's version of the FDA -- said the risks to patients outweighed the benefits, according to the linkurl:__Wall Street Journal.__;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/11/06/pfizer-sanofi-aventis-abandon-obesity-drugs/ In a linkurl:statement;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/6/1/40/100/ released this week, Pfizer said that its decision to stop development was based on "changing regulatory perspectives on the risk/benefit profile of the CB1 class," of drugs. The FDA has never granted approval to any diet drugs in this class.

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