Sanofi-Aventis’ obesity drug, Acomplia (rimonabant), significantly reduces bodyweight and cardiovascular risk factors in overweight or obese patients versus placebo, according to data published in the latest edition of The Lancet.

The clinical trial included over 1,500 obese patients with a body mass index of 30 or greater, or a BMI in excess of 27 coupled with untreated dyslipidaemia, hypertension, or both – optimum BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Patients were randomised to receive either placebo, or a 5mg or 20mg dose of Acomplia once daily in addition to a reduced calorie diet.

After one year, weight loss was significantly greater in patients treated with either of the Acomplia doses versus placebo – those receiving 5mg Acomplia lost an average of 3·4kg, while the 20mg group lost an average of 6.6kg, and placebo receivers lost an average of 1.8kg. Significantly more patients treated with Acomplia 20mg than placebo achieved weight loss of 10% or greater, while the 20mg dose also produced significantly greater improvements than placebo in waist circumference, HDL-cholesterol (the so-called “good cholesterol), triglycerides, and insulin resistance, and prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. The product was generally well tolerated with mild side effects.