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Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.

OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC. (San Diego CA) said that a mid-stage trial of Empatic, the second obesity drug being developed by the company, met its main goal of demonstrating significant weight loss. Side effects included headache, insomnia and hives, but there were no meaningful differences between the drug and placebo on measures of cognitive function, depression or thoughts of suicide, the company said. The drop-out rate for all arms of the trial was about 30%. Empatic combines the antidepressant Wellbutrin, known generically as bupropion, with anti-seizure drug zonisamide, which can cause birth defects and altered cognitive function.

Orexigen said the 729-patient trial found that 60.4% of obese people given the highest dose of the drug lost at least 5% of their body weight, compared with 14.7% of patients given a placebo. The 24-week trial also found that patients treated with Empatic had mean weight loss of 7.5%, compared with 1.4% for the placebo group.
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Title Annotation:CORPORATE; Empatic
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 5, 2009
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