MEDICAL RESEARCH

Zafgen's obesity drug succeeds in mid-stage trial

An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York

An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York  (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Drug developer Zafgen Inc said on Thursday that its drug to treat obesity in diabetic patients met the main goal of reducing body weight.

Patients given 1.8 mg and 1.2 mg doses of the drug, beloranib, experienced 12.7 and 13.5 percent reduction in body weight, respectively. Patients given a placebo only lost 3.1 percent of their weight.

last month Zafgen said the drug was also successful in treating Prader-Willi syndrome, the most common genetic cause of life-threatening obesity, in a late-stage trial.

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The results were from trials conducted before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked Zafgen to halt all tests on the drug in December after a second patient died from an artery blockage in the lung during a trial.