Sanofi-aventis said it would acquire all Japanese rights to the experimental antiobesity and smoking-cessation drug Acomplia from Fujisawa sanofi-aventis, a joint venture of sanofi-aventis and Japan's Astellas Pharma.
The transfer will occur by June, the French drugmaker said.
Fujisawa sanofi-aventis is conducting Phase IIb clinical trials for Acomplia (rimonabant). Sanofi-aventis said the move is part of its strategy to strengthen its presence in Japan.
The FDA in February issued a split decision on Acomplia. The agency's Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products issued an approvable letter for Acomplia for weight management, but the FDA's Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Rheumatology Products issued a nonapprovable letter for smoking cessation.