Arena Pharmaceuticals Announces Successful Completion of Preclinical Studies On Its Novel Obesity Compound and Restructuring as it Prepares to Initiate Clinical Development in the First Quarter 2004
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ARNA) today announced that it has successfully completed preclinical
studies on its internally discovered compound for obesity, APD356, and remains
on schedule to initiate Phase I human clinical trials in the first quarter of
2004. Arena also announced that it has restructured certain of its operations
as it transitions from primarily a discovery research company to a research
and development company.
Arena has discovery programs for several obesity targets and APD356 is
part of Arena's lead program in this area. APD356 is a highly selective 5HT2C
agonist that has been shown to reduce body weight and food intake in animal
models of obesity. Targeting the 5HT2C receptor is proposed to regulate body
weight by regulating satiety. Arena has now successfully completed the
preclinical safety studies necessary to allow initiation of human clinical
trials in early 2004.
The restructuring includes a staff reduction totaling 30 employees, or
about 9% of the company's workforce, and the transfer of an additional
12 scientists from research activities to development oriented activities. The
employees that were part of the reduction are eligible for severance packages
that include severance pay, continuation of health insurance and outplacement
"In a relatively short period of time, our scientists have created a
diverse pipeline of preclinical candidates, and I am excited to report that we
continue to be on schedule to begin our first human clinical trials on an
internally discovered compound for obesity early next year," stated Jack Lief,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Arena. "We expect to maintain our
world-class capabilities in research, but also need to devote substantial
resources to moving our preclinical programs into development. This staff
reduction and other cost-cutting measures we have implemented will enable us
to direct more of our financial resources on bringing additional compounds
into human clinical development."
Arena is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing
drugs that act on an important class of drug targets called G protein-coupled
receptors, or GPCRs. Arena uses its Constitutively Activated Receptor
Technology, or CART, Melanophore technology and other proprietary
technologies to identify small molecules that may lead to new drugs. Arena
concentrates its efforts in four major therapeutic areas: metabolic diseases,
cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system disorders and inflammatory
diseases. Within these areas, Arena is developing a portfolio of internally
discovered, highly selective small molecules for large markets with unmet
medical needs, including obesity, diabetes, depression and sleep disorders.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements
that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking
statements include statements about Arena's schedule, strategy, technologies,
internal programs, future achievements and statements that are not historical
facts. For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may differ
materially from Arena's expectations. Important factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by Arena's
forward-looking statements are disclosed in Arena's SEC reports, including
Arena's most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q. These forward-looking
statements represent Arena's judgment as of the date of this release. Arena
disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Arena Pharmaceuticals® and Arena® are registered service marks of the
company. CART is an unregistered service mark of the company. Arena's
headquarters are located at 6166 Nancy Ridge Drive, San Diego, California
92121, and its telephone number is (858) 453-7200. On the Internet, please
refer to Arena's Web site at www.arenapharm.com for further information.
For further information please contact: Jack Lief, President & CEO, ext.
223, or Derek Chalmers, Vice President, Research, ext. 228, both of Arena
SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CONTACT: Jack Lief, President & CEO, ext. 223, or Derek Chalmers, Vice
President, Research, ext. 228, both of Arena Pharmaceuticals, +1-858-453-7200