|By Marketwired .||
|March 6, 2013 08:20 AM EST||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/06/13 -- The anti-obesity drug market garnered major attention in 2012 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first new prescription weight loss drug in over a decade. Recent studies have shown that obesity in the U.S. now adds more to health care costs than smoking. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Healthcare Sector and provides equity research on EnteroMedics Inc. (NASDAQ: ETRM) and Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OREX).
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The number of Americans who are considered obese, a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher, has tripled since 1960, while those considered morbidly obese (BMI above 40) has increased six fold. A study completed by researchers from the Mayo Clinic last year showed that obese people on average pay $1,850 more in health costs a year, while the morbidly obese saw costs soar an additional $5,500 a year.
"Smoking added about 20 percent a year to medical costs," said Mayo's James Naessens. "Obesity was similar, but morbid obesity increased those costs by 50 percent a year. There really is an economic justification for employers to offer programs to help the very obese lose weight."
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EnteroMedics is a medical device company focused on the development and commercialization of its neuroscience based technology to treat obesity and metabolic diseases. The company's VBLOC Therapy is a first-in-class weight loss treatment designed to help address the growing global health crises associated with obesity and its co-morbidities, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Orexigen's product candidates, Contrave and Empatic reflect their understanding of how the brain appears to regulate appetite and metabolism, as well as the mechanisms that come into play to limit weight loss over time. The company plans to resubmit the Contrave New Drug Application in the second half of 2013.
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