The End of the Thin Pill

Last October I wrote a story in Wired about the emergence of metabolic syndrome, a close cousion of obesity and diabetes, as a medical condition. Part of that story involved the lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry to promulgate the diagnosis, especially by Sanofi Aventis, which has submitted its rimonabant drug to the FDA for treatment of metabolic syndrome. The drug has generated great attention, and some had estimated that it could be a $3 billion blockbuster for Sanofi. But maybe not. Story today that an advisory panel recommended to the FDA that the agency reject Sanofi's drug - which it has named Zimulti - for side-effects involving depression.

Usually the FDA follows the advisory panels recommendations, so it doesn't look good for Sanofi. Looks like a magic bullet for obesity is still elusive.