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Arena Pharmaceuticals' Pain Candidate Gets New U.S. Patent

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a new patent to Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA) for its pain candidate APD371 (U.S. Patent No. 8,778,950). APD371 is an agonist of the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). The patent, entitled Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators, along with other patents is expected to protect APD371 at least till 2030.

Arena Pharma owns several patents and patent applications which cover composition of matter and methods of treatment for APD371 and related compounds. The company has filed patent applications for APD371 in several countries including the U.S., Europe, Japan and China.  

In Dec 2013, Arena Pharma initiated dosing in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase I study (n = 56) to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single-ascending doses of APD371 in healthy adults.

As per company sources, approximately 100 million adults suffer from chronic pain in the U.S. In 2010, the worldwide pain management therapeutics market was estimated to be around $29 billion. Pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are some of the most commonly prescribed treatments.

Arena Pharma’s pipeline includes several other candidates including APD811 (pulmonary arterial hypertension, phase II expected to start shortly), APD334 (autoimmune diseases, ongoing), and temanogreal (thrombotic diseases, phase I completed). As of now, Arena Pharma’s growth is highly dependent on its sole marketed product Belviq for obesity.

Arena Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN), Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB), each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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