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January 22, 2013
10:38 EDTARNAArena sinks after E.U. raises objections to weight loss drug
Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) is sinking after the company reported earlier this morning in a regulatory filing that the European Medicines Agency had asked it to address issues with its anti-obesity drug, lorcaserin. The E.U. regulator raised objections to lorcaserin based on previously identified risk factors for patients taking the drug, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea, Arena reported. The company will have to address the issues before the drug can be approved by the E.U., Arena stated, adding that the regulator is still expected to make a decision on the drug in the first half of 2013. In a note to investors earlier today, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff wrote that the E.U. regulator wants Arena to justify the drug's overall risk/reward benefit. Arena doesn't have a partner for the drug in Europe yet, and will probably not be able to obtain one until it clears up the issues raised by the regulator, the analyst added. Tenthoff reiterated an $11 price target and Overweight rating on the shares, which dropped 64c, or 6.55%, to $9.12 in mid-morning trading.
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