Tuesday, July 03, 2007

No Marijuana Weight Loss Drug Yet

So last week Sanofi-Aventis pulled their marijuana receptor based drug rimonabant from the FDA's application process.

It seemed that the drug, widely touted as the next great thing in medical weight loss, worked alright as a weight loss aid but had the nasty habit of inducing psychic side effects including suicidal ideation.

Rather than risk getting rejected from the FDA (I imagine that would hurt sales in the EU where the drug is in fact approved), Sanofi pulled the application.

Sanofi had sunk a tremendous amount of money into the research and development of the drug and shares dropped close to 5% on the news.

Sanofi had predicted over $3 billion per year of global sales of the drug and spent tremendous amounts of money marketing it even before its eventual non release in the States. I remember they were the only booth at the last Obesity Society conference with red carpets, plasma screen televisions, slick handouts and for some odd reason, frozen yogurt bars.

Bottom line here, while certainly I'd welcome a weight loss medication that was safe, effective with little in the way of side effects, it doesn't appear that we're too much closer.