With its clinical development program for a new obesity drug in limbo following the unexplained deaths of two patients, Zafgen reported today that the troubled Phase III study hit its co-primary efficacy endpoints in treating a rare eating disorder.
Slashing levels of p75 neurotrophin receptor in fat cells could offer a new avenue of research for obesity research, according to a new preclinical mouse study from the Gladstone Institutes.
Weight loss and glycemic control startup Gelesis had hoped to take advantage of the most recent med tech IPO window. Instead, it's opted to pull a proposed $52 million IPO and go back to the well with VCs. It's raised $31.5 million in a financing round led by new investor Cormorant Asset Management, bringing its total raised to in excess of $90 million.
Investigators at Penn State say they may be on track to identifying a new metabolic drug with potential for fatty liver disease, diabetes and obesity.
A couple of gastric balloon weight loss products were approved by the FDA earlier this year, greatly expanding the available device options for obese patients. Now, the latest iteration of a gastric balloon has been given the go-ahead in the EU, and it doesn't require endoscopic placement like those already available in the U.S.
Six weeks after Zafgen finally broke an uncomfortable silence and acknowledged that a patient taking its experimental obesity drug beloranib had died, the company is reporting that a second patient has died--this time from bilateral pulmonary emboli.
Obesity treatment devices have been in the regulatory spotlight in 2015 with two approvals for balloon-based devices and another for a neurostimulator. That makes for a total of 5 FDA-approved obesity devices--including the two banding devices that were already approved.
Crossover investor Deerfield Management has joined the syndicate of Fractyl Laboratories with a $17 million addition to a Series C financing to bring it up to a total of $57 million. The startup will use the cash to continue backing clinical testing of its Revita Duodenal Mucosal Resurfacing System, which has already started an international multicenter trial and is slated to begin randomized studies in 2016.
Takeda has 900 reps behind Orexigen's Contrave--but is that investment worth it? Maybe not, RBC Capital Markets' Simos Simeonidis suggested recently in a note to investors. Vivus' Qsymia--with just 50 reps supporting the product--hauled in $14 million in Q3 revenue, compared with just $12.8 million for Contrave.
Nine hundred sales reps are out in the field promoting Orexigen's obesity med Contrave, thanks to the company's marketing partner, Takeda. But for what?