Orexigen Rises After Update On 2017 Priorities

Shares of Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) are on the rise after the company provided an update on recent progress and its key business priorities for 2017 to boost the sales of its two diet pill products, Contrave and Mysimba. The company is expected to provide additional details on 2017 plans during its presentation at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference on January 12.

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CONTRAVE IN THE U.S.: Orexigen launched this week "Brains Behind Weight Loss," a national direct-to-consumer advertising campaign demonstrating to patients how the brain plays an important role in weight loss. The campaign, which the company said it will monitor and optimize during the first half of 2017, will focus on how Contrave plays on certain elements of the brain to make it easier for women to lose weight. Additionally, Orexigen said that it will analyze response to the "Get Contrave Now" pilot telemedicine program, which was recently launched in California and Texas to supplement primary care channels. Oxigen's product is an FDA approved weight loss therapy, indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults classed as obese, or as overweight and suffering from a comorbidity. It is also approved in Europe, under the brand Mysimba.

GLOBAL AVAILABILITY: Orexigen also announced this morning that the company is looking to grow global availability of Contrave and Mysimba by managing Orexigen's established network of regional partners outside the U.S. Besides building on established partnerships to support regional regulatory approvals and launches in partnered territories, the company expects to establish "new strategic partnerships in remaining target markets with strong sales opportunities," Orexigen said in a press release. Orexigen noted that it plans to file a New Drug Submission for Contrave with Health Canada by its partner, Valeant Canada (VRX).

EARLY-STAGE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS: In 2017, Orexigen believes it will advance two early-stage development programs in pain management and medication-assisted therapy for drug addiction toward Investigational New Drug, or IND, fillings. The company said it will continue preclinical evaluation of OREX-1019, a novel orvinol compound with potential as a treatment for opioid and cocaine addiction, ahead of a potential IND filing in 2018, and will continue preclinical evaluation of OREX-1038, a partial agonist at the Mu opioid receptor and nociceptive receptor, ahead of a potential IND filing in 2018.

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