After lackluster results in a phase 3 trial, Merck
The drug, taranabant, inhibits the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Stimulating those receptors -- by smoking marijuana, for instance -- gives you the munchies, but blocking them does just the opposite: You lose your desire to eat. Great theory, but, like Sanofi-Aventis'
Obesity treatments are in a potentially lucrative market, but given the high risks -- witness Wyeth's
So who's left? Abbott Laboratories'
There's huge potential for a company to come in and take over the market with an effective drug that has few side effects. Arena's
Bottom line? Tread lightly, Fools. It doesn't get much more high risk/high reward than obesity-drug development.
More Foolishness on potentially lucrative markets:
Pfizer and Glaxo are both Income Investor recommendations. To see how dividend-paying stocks can offer both secure income and the opportunity for growth, take a free look at this newsletter service with a 30-day free trial.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Pfizer is also a recommendation of the Inside Value newsletter service. The Fool has a disclosure policy.