The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) gave a favorable nod to Sanofi's obesity drug, Acomplia, giving a boost to the company despite earlier challenges the drug faced. NICE recommended the drug for overweight adults who cannot take--or who have no success with--other weight-loss medications. However, NICE did place cautions on its recommendations, saying that patients should have an assessment every two years as well as discontinue the drug if they have not lost at least 5 percent of their body weight in the first six months of use.
Debates continue in the E.U. over whether Acomplia is a reimbursable drug or whether it is simply a lifestyle enhancer, but the NICE recommendation represents a small boost for Sanofi, who has suffered much negative publicity after stories that the drug might cause suicidal thoughts in patients. It has also taken a financial hit--with barely over $120 million in sales last year.
The company continues to test the drug as a diabetes medication adjunct, as well.