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Copenhagen obesity guru pushes up share prices

The effects of an editorial by University of Copenhagen weight-loss researcher Arne Astrup can be felt on the US stock market

Following an editorial article by University of Copenhagen researcher Arne Astrup, one slimming pill producer’s stock rose 14 per cent.

This is according to the financial news site

Shares in Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. rocketed a few days ago after Arne Astrup wrote an editorial in The Lancet medical journal raising questions about the need for more data on a rival treatment.

In the article, Arne Astrup from the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen highlights recent problems with weight-loss drugs.

Too little focus on safety

Although Orexigen’s drug improved several cardio-metabolic risk factors, including triglycerides and HDL cholesterol, Astrup questioned why reductions in blood pressure and LDL cholesterol normally be seen in weight loss are absent in those treated.

Regarding potential psychiatric side effects, he says that more analysis is needed.

»The development of drugs for the management of obesity has been hampered by too much focus on efficacy and too little attention on safety, which has led to a series of withdrawals of drugs from the market after serious adverse effects arose,« he writes.

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