Orexigen Therapeutics has received a notice of allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office for the 'Weber/Cowley methods patent', which provides coverage for Contrave, the company's lead obesity product candidate now in Phase III clinical trials.

Upon issuance, the patent will broadly cover methods of treating obesity with combinations of bupropion and naltrexone, the two active agents in Contrave. It is a companion to the Weber/Cowley composition patent, which broadly covers sustained release compositions of bupropion and naltrexone combined in a single dosage form. It is anticipated that the Weber/Cowley methods patent will provide protection for Contrave through mid-2024.

Contrave is an investigational weight loss medication with a mechanism of action that works at two sites within the central nervous system.

Gary Tollefson, Orexigen's president and CEO, said: "This patent represents another successful milestone for Orexigen. Upon issuance, Contrave would be protected by four patents that collectively will provide broad intellectual property coverage. With this additional patent allowance, we have added another layer of protection in support of Contrave which we believe enhances its net present value."