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San Diego Biotech Shows Good Results with Anti-Obesity Drug

— The San Diego-based company Orexigen reports its anti-obesity drug has met FDA standards in late-stage trials. Company executives expect to apply for FDA approval next year.

Contrave is the name of the experimental drug created by Orexigen. Company researchers say it reduces craving for food by acting on reward centers in the brain. And the results of stage-three drug trials announced by the company have shown good results.

Orexigen reports that Contrave caused 56 percent of patients in one test to lose at least 5 percent of their body weight. Only 17 percent of people taking a placebo lost at least 5 percent of their body weight. The difference between the drug and the placebo was far more than the FDA requires to show a meaningful difference.

Orexigen's chief financial officer, Graham Cooper, said the trial results mean the company can now move forward more aggressively with the commercial phase of their operation.

Orexigen stock rose more than 25 percent on news of the trial results.

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