Biotech ETFs: Orexigen Hit By Regulatory Hammer

Biotech sector and related exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade lower as one drug maker garners notoriety after regulatory hurdles puts a hold on the advancement of an anticipated diet pill.

  • iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (NYSEArca: IBB) is down 0.83%.
  • First Trust Amex Biotech Index Fund (NYSEAca: FBT) is down 0.74%.
  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Pharmaceutical Index Fund (NYSEArca: IHE) is down 0.97%.
  • HOLDRS Pharmaceutical (NYSEArca: PPH) is down 0.65%.

Orexigen Therapeutics (NasdaqGM: OREX) plummeted 33.96% after the company stopped further development on its obesity therapy Contrave diet pill due to regulatory problems with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, reports Val Brickates Kennedy for MarketWatch.

The company was required to have additional clinical trials to determine the drug’s risks on the cardiovascular system. However, Orexigen stated that the FDA’s more stringent request is “unprecedented and would generate significantly more information than is necessary or feasible.”

The unfortunate turn on the fate of the diet pill dragged on shares of VIVUS Inc. (NasdagGS: VVUS) and Arena Pharmaceuticals (NasdaqGS: ARNA), whose similar dietary drugs are also having trouble with regulatory scrutiny.

For more information on drug makers, visit our biotechnology category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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