Firm stops trials of obesity drug

Sanofi-Aventis has discontinued all trials of its anti-obesity drug rimonabant (Acomplia), which was suspended by the European Medicines Agency last month.

At the time of the suspension, Sanofi-Aventis said it saw the suspension as temporary and that it hoped ongoing studies would provide additional evidence for the product's safety and benefit in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The company has now announced that it has decided to discontinue the ongoing rimonabant clinical development programme in all indications.

The decision has been taken 'in light of recent demands by certain national health authorities', a spokesman said.

'As a result the feasibility of the global clinical development programme has been compromised.'

The EMEA withdrew the European Marketing Authorisation for Acomplia after an assessment of the drug's benefits and risks showed an increased risk of psychiatric disorders patients.

The agency said it believed that these side-effects could not be adequately addressed by risk minimisation measures.

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