Orexigen Obesity Pill Catching Up With Competitors

SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- Orexigen Therapeutics ( OREX) said results from a cardiovascular safety study of its weight-loss pill Contrave could be ready as early as the second quarter. If positive, the company will resubmit the drug for FDA approval in the second half of the year.

Orexigen CEO Michael Narachi provided an update on Contrave at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday.

Contrave could be approved in the first half of 2014. The commercial launch of the weight-loss pill is being handled by Takeda, which has a lot of metabolic drug experience. (Actos is a blockbuster diabetes drug.) This experience could prove beneficial with the Contrave launch.

Orexigen's $488 million market value is significantly lower than its obesity competitors Arena Pharmaceuticals ($2.1 billion market cap) and Vivus ($1.5 billion market cap.) Arena presents at the J.P. Morgan conference later today.

Read a lot more about Orexigen's outlook and the way investors and others reacted to the company's J.P. Morgan presentation on Twitter with this Appeering conversation thread:

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston. 

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Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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