Sanofi-Aventis said this morning that the US Food and Drug Administration has accepted the firm’s filing for its anti-obesity drug, Acomplia (rimonabant), which also doubles up as an aid to smoking cessation. The French company also revealed that the product had been filed for European approval.

Acomplia is widely expected to be a potential big earner for the French firm, cementing its place in the ever-increasing market for obesity agents with the promise of a new approach to treating this growing health problem [[07/09/04g]].

Acompla is the first in a new class of agents known as selective cannabinoid type 1 blockers and is thought to represent a new approach to managing the cardiovascular risk factors associated with obesity. Current treatments generally target CV risk factors individually, rather than providing a comprehensive management approach to such cardiovascular risks as dyslipidaemia, abdominal obesity and insulin resistance, which comprise metabolic syndrome – considered by many to be a cardiovascular time bomb affecting up to one in five people in Western countries.