Obesity Drug Shows 9% Weight Loss

Drug developer Vivus Inc has said the first of three late-stage trials found that obese patients treated with the highest dose of its experimental drug Qnexa on average lost 9.2% of their weight.

Vivus said the 28-week, 756-patient study met its main goal of superior weight loss with two different doses of Qnexa, compared with the drug’s individual components and a placebo pill.

Patients in the placebo group on average lost 1.7% of their weight, while patients on “mid-dose” Qnexa lost 8.5%.

Qnexa is a combination of phentermine – half of the recalled fen-phen diet pill – and the epilepsy drug Topamax, or topiramate.

Timothy Morris, Vivus’ chief financial officer, said weight loss results for the two components were also significantly better than placebo and will be disclosed at a meeting with analysts and investors.

Vivus said 66% of patients treated with full-dose Qnexa achieved weight loss of 5% or more. The company said Qnexa was well-tolerated – the most common side effects were itching, dry mouth, altered taste and constipation.

How the study was done
Reported drug-related adverse events for depression and altered mood were 1.9 percent for full-dose Qnexa, 0.9% for the mid-dose and 1.8% for placebo patients.

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