Obesity market set for huge growth

The market for obesity treatments will grow five-fold by 2016, according to research firm Decision Resources.

The category, worth an estimated $478 million in 2006, will grow to $2.7 billion by 2016 in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan, the firm projected. Growth will be most rapid in the US, where sales will increase from $222 million in 2006 to nearly $2 billion in 2016. 

Market growth will be fueled by a number of therapies, the report said, including from Arena Pharmaceuticals' lorcaserin and Amylin's pramlintide/leptin combo, expected to launch in major markets by 2011. The report anticipates 80% of the market switching to those and other therapies with novel mechanisms of action. However, the study's authors, citing the case of Sanofi-Aventis' Acomplia (rimonabant), caution that FDA's wariness toward new drugs in the category could slow growth and note that similar safety concerns could plague Merck's taranabant and Pfizer's CP-945598, which belong to the same drug class as rimonabant. 

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