Obesity drug developer Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss Tuesday after finishing clinical trials of its drug candidates Contrave and Empatic.

Orexigen completed late-stage testing of Contrave in 2009, and says it plans to file for Food and Drug Administration approval by the end of April. It also completed mid-stage studies of Empatic in September.

During the fourth quarter, Orexigen lost $15 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with a loss of $22.1 million, or 64 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Thomson Reuters says analysts predicted a loss of 29 cents per share.

Orexigen's 2009 license revenue was unchanged at $22,000.

For the full year, Orexigen narrowed its loss to $66.6 million, or $1.67 per share, from $93.2 million, or $2.76 per share. Revenue was unchanged at $88,000.

Contrave is part of a group of three obesity drug candidates that are seen as potential blockbusters. The others are Qnexa, developed by Vivus Inc., and Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s lorcaserin. All three could reach the market at about the same time, as Vivus and Arena have already requested regulatory approval of their drugs.