Arena Pharmaceuticals Announces BELVIQ™ (lorcaserin HCl) New Drug Submission in Canada -- Eisai's Application for Approval as a Treatment for Chronic Weight Management Triggers $500,000 Milestone Payment to Arena --
SAN DIEGO, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) announced today that Eisai Limited (based in Mississauga, Ontario), a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., has submitted a New Drug Submission (NDS) for BELVIQ™ (lorcaserin HCl) with Health Canada. BELVIQ is being evaluated in Canada as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management (including weight loss and weight maintenance) in adult obese patients (initial body mass index, or BMI, ≥ 30 kg/m2), or overweight patients (initial BMI ≥ 27 kg/m2) in the presence of at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor (e.g., hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea). In connection with the NDS, Arena will receive a milestone payment of $500,000 from Eisai.
"Approximately 60 percent of Canadians are overweight or obese, but there are limited treatment options available in Canada beyond diet and exercise," said Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer. "With this New Drug Submission for BELVIQ, we hope to provide physicians with a new tool to help motivated patients manage their weight."
Eisai is responsible for the regulatory approval and, ultimately, marketing and distribution of BELVIQ in Canada. Beyond Canada, Arena has granted Eisai marketing and distribution rights to BELVIQ in most of North and South America. Arena manufactures BELVIQ at its facility in Switzerland, and sells finished commercial product to Eisai for distribution. Arena is eligible to receive payments based upon Eisai's net sales of BELVIQ and is also eligible to receive regulatory and development milestone payments.
About BELVIQ (lorcaserin HCl)
BELVIQ is believed to decrease food consumption and promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain. The exact mechanism of action of BELVIQ is not known.
BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) CIV is Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
BELVIQ is indicated in the United States as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with a BMI of:
- 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or
- 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes).
Limitations of Use:
- The safety and efficacy of coadministration of BELVIQ with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription drugs (e.g., phentermine), over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established.
- The effect of BELVIQ on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been established.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- BELVIQ should not be taken during pregnancy or by women who are planning to become pregnant.
Warnings and Precautions
- BELVIQ is a serotonergic drug. The development of potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-like reactions have been reported during use of serotonergic drugs, including, but not limited to, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, bupropion, triptans, dietary supplements such as St. John's Wort and tryptophan, drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (including monoamine oxidase inhibitors), dextromethorphan, lithium, tramadol, antipsychotics or other dopamine antagonists, particularly when used in combination. Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome symptoms or NMS-like reactions, including agitation, hallucinations, coma, tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia, hyperreflexia, incoordination, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle rigidity. Treatment with BELVIQ and any concomitant serotonergic or antidopaminergic agents should be discontinued immediately if the above events occur, and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated.
- Patients should not take BELVIQ in combination with drugs that have been associated with valvular heart disease (e.g., cabergoline). In clinical trials, 2.4% of patients taking BELVIQ and 2.0% of patients taking placebo developed valvular regurgitation: none of these patients was symptomatic. BELVIQ should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Patients who develop signs and symptoms of valvular heart disease, including dyspnea, dependent edema, CHF, or a new cardiac murmur, should be evaluated and discontinuation of BELVIQ should be considered.
- Impairment in attention, memory, somnolence, confusion, and fatigue, have been reported in patients taking BELVIQ. Patients should not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until they know how BELVIQ affects them.
- The recommended dose of 10 mg twice daily should not be exceeded, as higher doses may cause euphoria, hallucination, and dissociation. Monitor patients for the development or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and/or any changes in mood. Discontinue BELVIQ in patients who develop suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
- Weight loss may increase the risk of hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are being treated with antidiabetic medications, so measurement of blood sugar levels before and during treatment with BELVIQ is recommended. Decreases in doses of antidiabetic medications or changes in medication regimen should be considered.
- Men who experience priapism should immediately discontinue BELVIQ and seek emergency medical attention. BELVIQ should be used with caution with erectile dysfunction medications. BELVIQ should be used with caution in men who have conditions that might predispose them to priapism (e.g., sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia), or in men with anatomical deformation of the penis (e.g., angulation, cavernosal fibrosis, or Peyronie's disease).
- Because BELVIQ may cause a slow heartbeat, it should be used with caution in patients with a history of bradycardia or heart block greater than first degree.
- Consider monitoring for CBC changes, prolactin excess, and pulmonary hypertension.
Most Common Adverse Reactions
- In patients without diabetes: headache (17%), dizziness (9%), fatigue (7%), nausea (8%), dry mouth (5%), and constipation (6%).
- In patients with diabetes: hypoglycemia (29%), headache (15%), back pain (12%), cough (8%), and fatigue (7%).
- BELVIQ should not be taken by women who are nursing.
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel drugs that target G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, to address unmet medical needs. BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl), Arena's internally discovered drug, is approved in the United States, and is under review for regulatory approval in additional territories. Arena's US operations are located in San Diego, California, and its operations outside of the United States, including its commercial manufacturing facility, are located in Zofingen, Switzerland. For more information, visit Arena's website at www.arenapharm.com.
Arena Pharmaceuticals® and Arena® are registered service marks of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. BELVIQ is a trademark of Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH, and is registered in the United States and pending in Canada.
About Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is the goal. Eisai gives its first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the US pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., Eisai's passionate commitment to patient care is the driving force behind its efforts to help address unmet medical needs. Eisai is a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Eisai's key areas of commercial focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit www.eisai.com/US.
Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai's global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; metabolic disorders; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include statements about the advancement, therapeutic indication and use, safety, efficacy, tolerability, selectivity and mechanism of action of BELVIQ; rights, obligations, milestones, payments, expectations and future activities related to the marketing and supply agreement with Eisai; the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Canada and treatment options; the potential of BELVIQ, including in helping patients; regulatory filings, review and approval of BELVIQ; and Arena's focus, plans, goals, strategy, expectations, research and development programs, and ability to discover and develop compounds and commercialize drugs. For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may differ materially from Arena's expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: risks related to commercializing drugs, including regulatory, manufacturing and supply issues and the availability of BELVIQ and pace of market acceptance; cash and revenues generated from BELVIQ, including the impact of competition; Arena's revenues will be based in part on management's estimates, judgment and accounting policies, and incorrect estimates or disagreement regarding Arena's estimates or accounting policies may result in changes to Arena's guidance or previously reported results; the timing and outcome of regulatory review is uncertain, and BELVIQ may not be approved for marketing when expected or ever by any other regulatory agency; regulatory decisions in one territory may impact regulatory decisions in other territories and Arena's business prospects; government and commercial reimbursement and pricing decisions; risks related to relying on collaborative arrangements; the timing and receipt of payments and fees, if any, from collaborators; the entry into or modification or termination of collaborative arrangements; unexpected or unfavorable new data; nonclinical and clinical data is voluminous and detailed, and regulatory agencies may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently and reach different conclusions than Arena or others, request additional information, have additional recommendations or change their guidance or requirements before or after approval; data and other information related to any of Arena's research and development may not meet safety, efficacy or other regulatory requirements or otherwise be sufficient for further research and development, regulatory review or approval or continued marketing; Arena's ability to obtain and defend patents; the timing, success and cost of Arena's research and development programs; results of clinical trials and other studies are subject to different interpretations and may not be predictive of future results; clinical trials and other studies may not proceed at the time or in the manner expected or at all; having adequate funds; and satisfactory resolution of litigation or other disagreements with others. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by Arena's forward-looking statements are disclosed in Arena's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Arena's judgment as of the time of this release. Arena disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as may be required under applicable law.
SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.