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Eisai, Eurofarma sign licensing deal for weight-loss drug in Latin America

Japanese drugmaker Eisai Co. Ltd. signed a licensing deal for its weight-loss drug Belviq with privately held Eurofarma Laboratórios SA for the Latin America and Caribbean region, sans Brazil.

Eisai granted exclusive development and marketing rights for Belviq, or lorcaserin, to Brazil's Eurofarma in 17 countries and in return will receive a one-time fee plus milestone payments for development and sales in each country.

Eisai said Eurofarma has a strong business presence in the region, which will allow the medicine to be readily available.

The drug, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012, is also sold in Mexico and Brazil as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in overweight and obese patients.

The weight-loss therapy has shown itself to be safe in a large scale study by demonstrating that it did not increase the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular-related events in overweight and obese patients.