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Data shows new drug, rimonabant, helps smokers quit while limiting post cessation weight gain

Cincinnati, OH, March 9, 2004 - C Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine presented results of one of the largest smoking cessation trials ever conducted in the United States, STRATUS-US (STudies with Rimonabant And Tobacco USe). The findings show that a new drug, rimonabant, doubled the odds of quitting smoking compared with placebo, markedly reduced post-cessation weight gain at 10 weeks, and was well-tolerated.

"Smoking cessation is an enormous struggle for many people," said Robert Anthenelli, M.D., one of the principal investigators in the STRATUS US trial and an associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Cincinnati VA Medical Center. "People who smoke are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. It is imperative to do anything and everything we can to treat tobacco dependence. Rimonabant represents a potentially promising new treatment option that can help people stop smoking while curbing post cessation weight gain. This may be a major step forward in smoking cessation."

Rimonabant is the first in a new class of drugs called Selective CB1 Blockers. The drug works by inhibiting the CB1 receptor, one of two receptors found in the EndoCannabinoid System (or EC System), that are located in the brain and in other parts of the body. Associated with systems regulating the body's intake of food, the EC system is also involved in tobacco dependency. Chronic tobacco use over-stimulates the EC system creating an imbalance. By blocking the CB1 receptor, rimonabant helps restore balance to the EC system resulting in reduced dependence on tobacco. In addition, in other clinical trials with rimonabant, researchers discovered that CB1 receptors are also found in adipose tissue (fat cells), which are associated with lipid and glucose metabolism. Blocking CB1 receptors in this part of the body has shown, in a recently completed obesity clinical trial called RIO-LIPIDS, results of
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Contact: Dama Kimmon
513-558-4519
Ketchum
9-Mar-2004


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