June 17, 2010 / 12:44 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Orexigen says FDA to rule on obesity drug in January

* FDA sets Jan 31, 2011, as action date * Contrave to compete with Vivus, Arena experimental drugs

June 17 (Reuters) - Orexigen Therapeutics Inc (OREX.O) said the U.S. health regulator has assigned Jan. 31, 2011, as the review date for the new drug application of its experimental obesity drug.

Contrave is a pill that combines the antidepressant Wellbutrin, known generically as bupropion, with a sustained-release version of naltrexone, an opioid blocker used to treat alcoholism and other addictions.

If approved, Contrave would likely compete with Qnexa, an experimental drug from Vivus Inc (VVUS.O) and lorcaserin, an experimental drug from Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc (ARNA.O). [ID:nN09101428]

Shares of Orexigen closed at $4.67 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Krishnakali Sengupta in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan) ((krishnakali.sengupta@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: krishnakali.sengupta.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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