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Vivus says panel will review obesity drug in July

Fri, 03/26/2010 - 8:17am
The Associated Press

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Vivus Inc. said Friday a Food and Drug Administration review panel will discuss its obesity drug candidate Qnexa on July 15.

The FDA's endocrinologic and metabolic drugs advisory committee is tentatively scheduled to discuss the drug on that date, and the FDA itself is expected to make a decision on Qnexa by Oct. 28. While the FDA is not required to follow the advice of its committees, the panel vote could influence its decision or give a reading on the likelihood Qnexa will be approved.

Qnexa is part of a new class of obesity drugs, three of which are expected to reach the market around the same time. Its closest rivals are lorcaserin, developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, and Contrave, which was developed by Orexigen Therapeutics. Vivus and Arena filed for FDA approval in late 2009 and Orexigen is expected to do the same this year.

In morning trading, Vivus shares rose 28 cents, or 3 percent, to $9.64.

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