SAN DIEGO, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BIOCOM, the Southern California life science association representing more than 550 member companies, applauds San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals for its commitment to innovation in drug discovery and development as well as its contributions to the region's life science community. The company announced that BELVIQ®, the first new weight management drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 13 years, has moved closer to launch with its U.S. availability expected in as few as 30 days. Below is a statement from BIOCOM's president and CEO, Joe Panetta:
The upcoming availability of BELVIQ is an important milestone for not only the many patients in need nationwide, but for the life science community in Southern California. This novel medicine is the product of internal research and development efforts led in San Diego, where Arena's scientists have built a drug discovery engine with broad therapeutic potential. Today, Arena can help the medical community tackle the growing problem of obesity. Tomorrow, Arena scientists can address other unmet medical needs by remaining focused on the discovery of entirely new drugs. In our region, which is home to many of the best and brightest in science, we must recognize those who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to innovation in order to improve human health and save lives.
Furthermore, Arena's team-driven culture is exemplary of the collaborative efforts within and between life science companies that are critical to advancing a health-care mission. Arena was founded by Dominic Behan, Ph.D., and Jack Lief, a member of our executive committee and former BIOCOM chairman. Dominic and Jack have built a company with integrated research, development and manufacturing capabilities that serves as a pillar for our thriving industry in Southern California. Arena's contributions to its hometown industry sector go far beyond that of workforce development with its 220 San Diego-based employees. The company's leaders have been actively involved with the creation of critical industry initiatives for the benefit of all in our region, including the BIOCOM Purchasing Group and capital development activities.
ABOUT BIOCOM: BIOCOM is the largest regional life science association in the world, representing more than 550 member companies in Southern California across all major life science sectors, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, medical device, connected health, agriculture and biorenewables. The association focuses on initiatives that positively influence the region's life science community in the development and delivery of innovative products that improve health and quality of life. BIOCOM provides a tremendous range of initiatives and programs in public policy, capital access, group savings, professional network building and talent development. For more information on BIOCOM or the Southern California life science community, please click around our site (www.biocom.org) or call (858) 455-0300.