Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., the maker of the weight loss drug, Contrave, said recently it is withdrawing its efforts for U.S. approval, following the FDA’s refusal to approve its product for use. Contrave was considered to be one of the most promising drug candidates currently in development for the treatment of obesity.

Orexigen released a statement last week in which the company says it will focus on developing Contrave and another drug, Empatic, in non-U.S. markets, as the drugs’ outlook is currently dim in the United States.

The FDA said it would not approve the drug due to concerns over its side effects on the heart. To that end, the FDA plans to hold an advisory committee meeting on cardiovascular risk assessment for obesity drugs sometime in 2012.

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