A volunteer who was given Arena Pharmaceuticals' (ARNA -0.15%) APD811 treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in a Phase Ib trial experienced a heart rhythm disorder, sparking concerns over the drug's safety.
The trial investigator believes that the disorder could be related to the treatment.
Arena had said yesterday that "no serious adverse events were observed" in the testing, but has now gone back on that.
Despite the problem, Arena still intends to start Phase II trials for APD811 in Q1 2014.
PAH occurs when lung arteries constrict, causing the heart to work harder. (8-K)
Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA +0.4%) has entered into a marketing agreement with CY Biotech for the latter to sell Arena's Belviq weight-loss drug in Taiwan, subject to approval from the country's FDA. CY Biotech is paying $2M up front. In Taiwan, whose population is 23.2M, half of adult men and a third of adult women are overweight or obese, while eight of 10 leading causes of death are associated with obesity. Around 10% of healthcare spending is used to treat obesity related problems. (PR)
There's a lively debate taking place regarding Belviq prescription numbers. According to IMS, 1,829 prescriptions were written for Arena's (ARNA -0.4%) weight-loss pill in its second week on the market. SA contributor Reasonable Risk says the data were "improperly analyzed," while TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein calls the drug "marginally effective" and points to what he says are contradictory claims from "Areniacs" regarding the reliability of two week's worth of data.
Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA -6.8%) dip on disappointing Belviq script data. According to TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein, Belviq TRx for week of June 21st were just 1,829, citing IMS. For the week of June 14th they were 1,087.