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New Weight-Loss Drug Gains FDA Advisory Panel Approval

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Aired 12/8/10

A weight-loss drug made in San Diego gained approval by an Food and Drug Administration advisory panel today.

— A weight-loss drug made in San Diego gained approval by a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday. The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice, but usually does.

The expert advisory panel recommended the FDA approve Contrave, a new weight-loss drug made by Orexigen Therapeutic Inc. in San Diego.

Contrave is the first in a group of competitors to get a positive recommendation from FDA experts.

The panel of experts voted 13 to 7 for Contrave's approval—with the condition that additional studies be done on the drugs heart risks.

Originally scientists voiced safety concerns, but ultimately determined the drug's weight-loss benefits outweigh the risks.

Two other weight loss drugs, San Diego made Lorcaserin and Vivus Inc.'s Qnexa were rejected by the FDA earlier this year.

The FDA is scheduled to make its official decision on Contrave by the end of January.

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