San Diego Business Journal

An anti-obesity drug manufactured by San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. will be marketed and distributed in Mexico, triggering a $500,000 milestone payment, the company said, in a statement.

Eisai Laboratorios S. de R.L. de C.V., the Mexican subsidiary of Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Inc., has submitted a marketing authorization application for Arena’s weight management drug Belviq.

Belviq, developed by Arena in San Diego, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2012.

“We look forward to the opportunity to help address this unmet medical need by bringing Belviq to patients in Mexico who can benefit from treatment for chronic weight management,” said Jack Lief, Arena's president and chief executive in a statement. “We plan to commercialize Belviq globally through collaborations with organizations such as Eisai that are committed to and have proven capabilities in serving patients and physicians.”

Eisai is responsible for the regulatory approval and, ultimately, the marketing and distribution of Belviq in Mexico. Arena will be able to receive further payments if more milestones are reached.

And beyond Mexico, Eisai has the marketing and distribution rights for Belviq in much of North and South America, and plans to market Arena’s product in Canada and Brazil this year.

Shares for Arena Pharmaceuticals, which has a market capitalization of $1.74 billion, were trading on the Nasdaq at $8.02 at market close following the announcement.

—SDBJ Staff Report