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Arena subsidiary enters agreement with Israeli distributor for weight loss drug

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced on Monday that its wholly owned subsidiary, Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH, has entered into an exclusive marketing and supply agreement with Abic Marketing Limited, a Teva Pharmaceutical Industries subsidiary, for its weight loss and management product Belviq.

Under the agreement, Arena granted Abic the rights to market and distribute Belviq in Israel, where Teva is based, for weight loss or weight management in obese and overweight patients. The deal is subject to regulatory approval by the State of Israel Ministry of Health.

"Founded in Israel in 1901, Teva is the leading pharmaceutical company in the Israeli market," Jack Lief, Arena's president and CEO, said. "Their local presence and proven commercialization expertise are important factors toward making Belviq available in Israel as a new treatment option for chronic weight management."

According to an Arena release, the number of overweight and obese Israelis has nearly tripled between 1967 and 2003. In 2011, the Israel Ministry of Health estimated that approximately 48 percent of the population is overweight or obese.

Abic is responsible for regulatory approval of the product, as well as its marketing and distribution in Israel, including related costs and expenses. Arena is to manufacture the Belviq at its facility in Switzerland, and sell it to Abic at a purchase price equal to a percentage of Abic's annual net sales of the drug.

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