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Orexigen Therapeutics Presents New Data Showing Weight Loss with Contrave Significantly Improves Important Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk

- Up to 48% of Patients Completing One Year of Contrave Therapy Lost at Least 10% of Baseline Body Weight - - Data Presented at The Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting -


SAN DIEGO, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc (NASDAQ:OREX) today announced new data from the COR-I, COR-II and COR-Diabetes trials for Contrave® (bupropion SR/ naltrexone SR) to expand on top-line results announced in July. Contrave is the first of the Company's two late stage candidates for the treatment of obesity. These data were presented during a panel discussion at the 27th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society.

These new data show that after completing 56 weeks of therapy with Contrave32:

  --  Approximately 34-48% of patients lost at least 10% of their baseline
      body weight and approximately 17-23% lost at least 15%;
  --  Obese patients classified as higher risk for developing cardiovascular
      disease and diabetes demonstrated significant improvement in markers
      of cardiometabolic risk such as waist circumference, HDL, and
  --  Patients with type 2 diabetes taking Contrave who began the trial with
      a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level greater than 8% saw a mean HbA1c
      reduction of 1.1%, which was highly statistically significant compared
      to placebo;
  --  Patients reported an increased ability to control their eating and
      resist food cravings; and

  --  There was no evidence of increased abuse liability.

"These data show that Contrave provides obese patients with meaningful reduction in weight and improvement in important markers of cardiometabolic risk, with even greater improvement seen in patients at higher risk," said Dennis Kim, M.D., Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs. "Results also illustrate the robust glycemic benefit of Contrave in patients who have poorly controlled diabetes, as defined by a hemoglobin A1C level greater than 8.0. These patients experienced a clinically meaningful A1C reduction of 1.1% from baseline."

Additional findings presented today from patients who completed 56-weeks of therapy include:

  Efficacy Results
                                 COR-I                       COR-II
                                 -----                       ------
                            PBO        Contrave32       PBO       Contrave32
                          (N=290)       (N=296)       (N=267)      (N=434)
                          ------         ------        ------       ------

  Equal or greater
  than 5% weight
  loss (%)                 23.1%        61.8%*         21.7%      75.8%*

  Equal or Greater
  than 10%
  weight loss (%)          10.7%        34.5%*          7.9%      48.2%*

  Equal or Greater
  than 15%
  weight loss (%)           3.1%        17.2%*          3.4%      23.0%*

  Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk (mean change)
                                  COR-I                       COR-II
                                  -----                       ------
                            PBO        Contrave32       PBO       Contrave32
                          (N=290)       (N=296)        (N=267)      (N=434)
                          ------         ------        ------       ------
  (cm)                     -2.7         -6.9*          -2.1       -7.1*

  (mg/dL)                  -3.8        -19.0*          +0.5      -14.8*

  Fasting HDL
  (mg/dL)                  -0.1         +3.5*          -1.0       +4.2*

  Fasting LDL
   (mg/dL)                 -2.8         -4.3           -2.0       -6.3*

  hsCRP (mg/L)             -0.5         -1.6*           0.0       -0.7*

  Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk (mean change among patients with increased
  cardiometabolic risk)
                                 COR-I                      COR-II
                                 -----                      ------
                            PBO        Contrave32       PBO     Contrave32
                            ---        ----------       ---     ----------
  Circumference            -2.8         -7.1*          -2.2       -7.3*
  (cm)                   (N=282)      (N=279)        (N=254)    (N=410)
  Males >102
  >88 cm

  Triglycerides           -32.0        -66.3*         -13.9      -51.2*
  (mg/dL)                 (N=82)       (N=87)         (N=69)    (N=135)
  >/=150 mg/dL

  Fasting HDL              +1.3         +5.0*          +1.3       +6.2*
  (mg/dL)                (N=122)      (N=121)        (N=117)    (N=184)
  Males <40
  females <50

 fasting ldl
 (mg>/=160 mg/dL            (N=29)       (N=31)         (N=26)     (N=44)

  hsCRP (mg/L)             -0.7         -2.9*          -1.1       -1.6*
  >3 mg/L                (N=163)      (N=177)        (N=144)    (N=261)

  *p<.05 for difference between Contrave and placebo

"The focus of today's panel discussion on pharmacotherapy among distinguished members of the scientific community serves as further validation that medication may play an important role in the treatment of obesity," said Eduardo Dunayevich, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Orexigen Therapeutics. "We believe that, if approved, Contrave can benefit a broad range of obese patients. The results of the COR program, coupled with recently disclosed results from our Empatic Phase 2b trial, support our belief that these two product candidates can help fill the current gap in obesity treatment by providing physicians with multiple pharmacologic options to address the varying needs of this diverse patient population."

Contrave Obesity Research (COR) Trial Design and Safety Profile

All Phase 3 trials in the COR program were 56 week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. The co-primary endpoints were the proportion of patients achieving at least 5% weight loss and percent change in body weight compared to placebo. Secondary endpoints included multiple markers of cardiometabolic risk, patient reported food cravings and eating control measures, as well as HbA1c in the COR-Diabetes trial. Patients were randomized to receive either placebo or Contrave, BID, with a four week titration period.

As previously reported, seven serious adverse events were attributed by investigators as possibly related to Contrave treatment across the entire COR program. These include cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation), seizure, palpitations, paresthesia and vertigo. The most frequently observed treatment-emergent adverse events were nausea, constipation and headache. Nausea was the leading adverse event resulting in discontinuation; however, for the majority of patients experiencing nausea, it was mild to moderate, transient and manageable.

At week 56, mean blood pressure was generally unchanged from baseline for Contrave patients compared to placebo patients, who tended to experience a slight decrease (approximately 2 mm Hg) from baseline. Contrave treatment did not appear to disrupt the normal circadian pattern of blood pressure. There was a slight increase in pulse (approximately 1 beat per minute) in Contrave patients compared to placebo patients, whose pulse was generally unchanged. There were no meaningful treatment effects on ECGs or laboratory measures including liver function tests. Treatment with Contrave was not associated with increases in symptoms of depression or suicidal ideation.

The Company is on track to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for Contrave with the FDA in the first half of 2010.

Additional Presentations at The Obesity Society

Additional data including Intent-to-Treat (ITT) analyses from COR-I and COR-II will be presented as late-breaker presentations in the Marriott Ballroom Salon 2 on Tuesday, October 27, beginning at 11:00 am EST. In addition, three posters (220-P, 218-P, 216-P) featuring data from the COR-BMOD trial will be presented in the Marriott Exhibit Hall on Sunday, October 25 from 1-2 and 6:30-7:30 pm EST (posters available for viewing from 1-7:30pm).

About Orexigen® Therapeutics

Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies that offer multiple approaches to treating obesity. The Company's lead investigational product, Contrave®, has completed the COR clinical development program and is on track for a regulatory submission with the FDA in the first half of 2010. The Company's second obesity drug candidate, Empatic(TM), has completed Phase 2 trials. Each product candidate is designed to act on a specific group of neurons in the central nervous system with the goal of achieving appetite suppression and sustained weight loss, through combination therapeutic approaches. Further information about the Company can be found at

Forward-Looking Statements

Orexigen cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "indicates," "will," "intends," "potential," "suggests," "assuming," "designed" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the Company's current beliefs and expectations. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the efficacy and safety of Empatic(TM) and Contrave®, the potential for, and timing of, proceeding to Phase 3 clinical trials for Empatic or filing an NDA for Contrave, the commercial and therapeutic potential of Empatic and Contrave, and the potential to obtain regulatory approval for, and effectively treat obesity with, either product candidate. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Orexigen that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this release due to the risk and uncertainties inherent in the Orexigen business, including, without limitation: additional analyses of data from the Empatic Phase 2B trial or Contrave Phase 3 trials and any other clinical trials of Empatic or Contrave may produce negative or inconclusive results, or may be inconsistent with previously announced results or previously conducted clinical trials; the FDA may not agree with the Company's interpretation of efficacy and safety results; earlier clinical trials may not be predictive of future results; Empatic or Contrave may not receive regulatory approval on a timely basis or at all, and the FDA may require Orexigen to complete additional clinical, non-clinical or other requirements prior to the submission or the approval of NDAs for either product candidate; the potential for adverse safety findings relating to Empatic or Contrave to delay or prevent regulatory approval or commercialization, or result in product liability claims, including serious adverse events that are not characterized by clinical investigators as possibly related to Empatic or Contrave and adverse events associated with the individual components of these product candidates; the third parties on whom Orexigen relies to assist with the development programs for Empatic or Contrave, including clinical investigators, contract laboratories, clinical research organizations and manufacturing organizations, may not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, and the quality or accuracy of the data or materials generated by such third parties may be of insufficient quality to include in the Company's regulatory submissions; the ability of Orexigen and its licensors to obtain, maintain and successfully enforce adequate patent and other intellectual property protection of its product candidates; and other risks described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and Orexigen undertakes no obligation to revise or update this news release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Information included herein is based on the Company's review and evaluation of the clinical data. All conclusions and determinations contained herein are subject to the Company's further analysis of the clinical data. The ultimate determination of the safety and efficacy of Contrave and Empatic will be made by the FDA and other relevant regulatory authorities.

Source: Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.

CONTACT: Graham Cooper, Orexigen, +1-858-875-8600; or media, Liz Frank,
+1-212-301-7216, or Lori Rosen, +1-212-301-7173

Web Site:

Posted: October 2009