Eurofarma launches innovative drug to fight obesity in Brazil and other 17 countries

Eurofarma signed agreement with Eisai to market Belviq®, innovative drug in the fight against obesity, in Brazil and other 17 Latin America countries.

Online PR News – 27-February-2019 – São Paulo, February 26, 2019 – Eurofarma, Brazilian pharmaceutical company, 100% national capital, signed agreement with Eisai, one of the main pharmaceutical companies worldwide, to market Belviq® (lorcaserin hydrochloride), innovative drug in the fight against obesity, in Brazil and other 17 Latin America countries.

Lorcaserin promotes satiety due to the selective activation of serotonin 2C receptors in the brain, which makes the person feel full while eating less. One of its chief benefits is safety, because it is not a stimulating or narcotic substance. Moreover, another differential is the fact that the patient keeps on losing weight during the treatment.

Prevalence of obesity has increased among adults, both in developed countries and in developing countries. Brazil experiences today a major obesity epidemic. Recent data indicate that 54% of Brazilians are considered to be overweight and approximately 20% considered obese. According to the Ministry of Health, 1 out of 5 Brazilians suffers with obesity. In the last 10 years, the obese population in Brazil went from 11.8% in 2006 to 18.9% in 2016, a 60% growth. This number is gets more alarming when we consider the youth population, between 18 and 24 years of age, where obesity increased 110%.1

Lorcaserin was approved in 2012 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index (BMI) of ≥30kg/m² (obesity) or ≥27 kg/m2 (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related co-morbid condition (example: hypertension, dyslipidemia or type-2 diabetes mellitus). The product was launched in the USA in 2013 and approved in 2016 in Mexico and Brazil.

According to Martha Penna, Eurofarma's Innovation vice-president, the agreement with Eisai is very important to fight obesity in the country. "Our presence across Latin America, excellent performance in sales and ethic standards represented an attractive to Eisai, which will start to offer the drug to a very relevant market worldwide. For us, the marketing of Belviq® will further improve our solutions to fight obesity, besides bringing safety and convenience to physicians and patients".

The drug will arrive in Brazil in 2019, and can be bought over the counter. The novelty is part of an agreement entered into by the companies to develop and market the product in other 17 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Central America and the Caribbean - Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama -, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela) and Brazil was chosen as another trade point for the drug, increasing the product's presence in Latin America.

Cardiovascular Safety
A study conducted involving 12,000 overweight and obese patients that presented atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or multiple risk factors like hypertension and diabetes, for example, confirmed the cardiovascular safety of the treatment with lorcaserin. The study observed that the long term treatment with lorcaserin does not increase the incidence of MACE (Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events, including myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death) and the primary safety objective of the study was met. It was also demonstrated improvement in several cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, lipids, blood glucose and renal function. The treatment with lorcaserin also reduces diabetes incidence risk, induces hyperglycemia remission and risk of micro vascular complications in overweight and obese patients, supporting lorcaserin role as adjunct to the change of life style to chronic control of weight and metabolic health.2

It is a modern drug with good tolerability, presenting low incidence of adverse events. The most common reported events are: headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth and constipation in patients without diabetes and hypoglycemia, headache, back pain, cough and fatigue in patients with diabetes.3

There are several evidences of lorcaserin benefit in the loss of weight. A study demonstrated that patients that used lorcaserin had double chances of losing 5% of body weight, with an average of weight loss of 5.8Kg in one year.4

1 Vigitel Brazil 2017: surveillance of risk and protective factors for chronic diseases by telephone survey: estimates of Frequency and sociodemographic distribution of risk and protective factors for chronic diseases in the capitals of the 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District in 2017

2 Bohula EA et al. CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 Steering Committee and Investigators. Cardiovascular Safety of Lorcaserin in Overweight or Obese Patients. N Engl J Med. 2018 Sep 20;379(12):1107-1117.

3 Bohula EA et al. CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 Steering Committee Investigators. Effect of lorcaserin on prevention and remission of type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese patients (CAMELLIA-TIMI 61): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2018 Nov 24;392(10161):2269-2279

4 Smith SR et al.Behavioral Modification and Lorcaserin for Overweight and Obesity Management (BLOOM) Study Group. Multicenter, placebo-controlled trial of lorcaserin for weight management. N Engl J Med. 2010 Jul 15;363(3):245-56.

About Eurofarma Brasil
With 46 years of operations, Eurofarma Group is the first Brazilian multinational pharmaceutical company with 100% national capital, being acknowledged by the medical community and the society for promoting access to health and life quality with fair prices, quality and innovative treatments.
Present in 20 countries, it operates in Medical Prescription and Over-the-counter areas, Generic, Hospital, Bids, Oncology, Veterinary and Services for third parties' segments. In Brazil, the portfolio is represented by 335 brands and 844 presentations, including 28 medical specialties and 148 therapeutic classes.
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