Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Obesity Society Reports on Qnexa, Contrave and Lorcaserin

Information Uncover was represented at last month’s TOS (The Obesity Society) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. And one of the most exciting bits of news coming out of the meeting was the prediction that three obesity drugs, we’ve talked about on this blog, will likely be on the market within two years. These drugs are Qnexa, Contrave and Lorcaserin.

Qnexa is manufactured by Mountain View, California based Vivus. Contrave is manufactured by La Jolla, CA based Orexigen. And Lorcaserin is manufactured by San Diego, California based Arena.

Qnexa is a combination of two drugs: Phentermine and Topiramate. Phentermine was used in the obesity drug combination Fen-phen, an obesity drug combining Fenfluramine and Phentermine. Fen-phen was taken off the market in the 90s because the drug caused severe side effects -- including serious cardiovascular issues.

However, Phentermine was the safer of the two drugs in the Fen-phen combination. Phentermine is often prescribed today for short term weight loss. Furthermore, while Phentermine is combined with Topiramate in Qnexa, the serious side effects associated with Fen-phen have not been observed in Qnexa. In addition, Qnexa surpasses the FDA obesity drug guidelines.

Orexigen’s Contrave is also the combination of two drugs. These drugs are Naltrexone and Bupropion. Naltrexone is FDA approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence. And Bupropion is FDA approved for the treatment of depression. Contrave appears to have no serious side effects, and the drug satisfies FDA obesity drug guidelines.

Finally, Lorcaserin, produced by Arena, does not produce the weight loss percentages achieved by Qnexa and Contrave. However, Lorcaserin appears to be well tolerated, while satisfying the FDA obesity drug guidelines.

With the weight loss industry in need of a safe and effective weight loss drug, weight loss service and product providers are closely monitoring Qnexa, Contrave, and Lorcaserin. We believe that if these three drugs do come on the market within two years, their presence will give a needed boost to the weight loss industry. And a number of speakers at The Obesity Society's annual meeting seemed to agree with this opinion.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of the three drugs have filed with the FDA yet. The average length of time to get FDA approval after filing is around 14-18 months I think. Because of the past history of obesity drugs, there is likely to be a lot of FDA scrutiny that may result in further delays and requests for more information. So I am sure none of these will be on the market within a year.

November 5, 2009 at 1:48 AM  
Blogger Information Uncover said...

Anonymous makes some good points. We looked back through the notes we took at the Obesity meeting. And after that review, we felt it is probably more appropriate to lengthen the time frame for the drugs to get on the market. So, instead of saying "within a year," we updated the phrase to say "within two years."

November 5, 2009 at 8:08 AM  

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