Don Bauder 5:30 p.m., March 10
Arena Tanks on Bad FDA News
Stock of biotech Arena Pharmaceuticals is down 38.83% to $4.19 this morning on bad Food and Drug Administration news on the developmental weight loss drug "lorcaserin." A staff review indicated three safety issues, including valvular heart disease, neuro-psychiatric and cognitive-related events, and preclinical tumor development in rats. The FDA staff also said that lorcaserin 10 mg tablets were only efficacious by a slim margin. The company faces a broader review Thursday, but this report would seem to set up very significant hurdles. San Diego's Orex Therapeutics, which is also trying to develop a weight loss program, but doesn't go to the FDA until December, was down almost 7% in sympathy.