Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. surged 8.8% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company said its weight management drug was granted approval for commercialization in Mexico by Eisai Laboratories. Arena will receive a $1 million milestone payment as a result of the approval. The U.S. brand name for Arena’s weight management drug is Belviq. The product is expected to be available later this year. “Currently more than 70% of the Mexican population is either overweight or obese,” said Eisai Chief Operating Officer Shaji Procida. “Without intervention, these numbers are projected to increase.” Arena’s stock had tumbled 16% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.
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