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New Diet Drug Lorcaserin Wins Vote From FDA Panel

Panelists Still Cite Need for Continued Research on Heart Valve Risk

Risks of Untreated Obesity

And the doctors noted that untreated obesity carries its own risks.

"There can be no doubt. Untreated obesity harms every body system," said Northwestern University obesity specialist Robert Kushner, MD, representing the Obesity Society, of which Arena is a corporate member.

Lisa Sutter of the Washington, D.C., area told committee members that she had participated in a phase II trial of lorcaserin from 2007 to 2009.

"It was amazing," said Sutter. "My brain switched back to normal again."

In a year, she said, she lost 40 pounds, about 20% of her starting weight. But for the second year of the study, she was taken off the drug. "So now I'm back to where I was, and more," she said.

The FDA is expected to make a decision about lorcaserin by June 27.

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