by Medindia Content Team on  April 30, 2006 at 3:58 PM Drug News
New Drug to Fight against Obesity
Sanofi-Aventis SA new drug is called the Acomplia which the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has recommended the drug for approval for weight loss. After this its shares rose 2.7%. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for weight control. The chemical name of the drug is rimonabant and is now being recommended for overweight or obese patients. But Sanofi failed to win the approval of the agency, EU committee and FDA to make Acomplia available as an anti-smoking drug.

But the FDA said it needed further information before approving it as a weight-loss tool. The drug has caused a lot of sensation as it attacks obesity. It was found that people on the drug ate less. In clinical trials the drug resulted in losing 16 pounds (7.3 kilograms) on average from people taking the optimal dose for two years, compared with 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms) for those who took dummy pills.

But the European agency approved it only for obese patients who suffered from related problems, like abnormal cholesterol levels or type 2 diabetes. Dr Luc Van Gaal, Professor of Diabetology at Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium said that the drug cannot be used by people for cosmetic reasons. Sanofi also says that the trials show that the drug has the ability to reduce heart disease risk-factors. The company is conducting further studies aimed at extending its use to other kinds of patients and conditions. All these aspects would improve the chances of the drug to be approved by the agency and the FDA.

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