This week, Orexigen's (NASDAQ:OREX) obesity drug, Contrave, is up for Food and Drug Administration approval.
The biotech originally tried to gain approval for Contrave a few years ago, but the FDA rejected the drug, asking for a clinical trial to ensure there weren't heart problems. Orexigen ran the trial, and the interim data ruled out an increase in heart problems above a certain threshold. At this point, an approval seems likely.
It remains to be seen whether Contrave will be able to succeed where Arena Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:ARNA) Belviq and VIVUS's (NASDAQ:VVUS) Qsymia have struggled. Contrave has better efficacy Belviq and a better safety profile than Qsymia. Unfortunately, with the heart trial still ongoing, the interim data isn't expected to be on the label.
Watch the video below to see what senior biotech specialist Brian Orelli and health-care analyst David Williamson think of the competition between Orexigen, Arena Pharmaceuticals, and VIVUS.