Orexigen shares spike on positive late-stage obesity data

Shares of Orexigen Therapeutics spiked 32 percent in premarket trading as investors got wind of positive data on its experimental obesity therapy.

Researchers for Orexigen say that Contrave proved effective in three late-stage trials. The trials involved more than 4,500 patients and produced the kind of data the FDA looks for in a new obesity therapy. Orexigen Chief Executive Michael Narachi told Dow Jones that the company is assembling a sales force to launch the drug, but added that a partnership would be needed in order to achieve the drug's full revenue potential. He didn't amplify on that point.

Orexigen is racing to beat Arena and Vivus to the market with a new obesity drug. Large pharma companies have tried, and often failed, in this arena due to safety considerations. But Orexigen notes that its drug completed late-stage studies without any serious side effects.

- check out the report from Dow Jones