Five deaths and 720 adverse reactions in the U.K. were linked to the anti-obesity drug Acomplia made by Sanofi Aventis SA, said a regulator in the country.
The drug, known generically as rimonabant, went on sale two years ago. The reports by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said two deaths were linked to heart difficulties: one involved an infection, another a sudden death and one patient committed suicide.
U.S. regulators rejected Acomplia last June on concerns that the drug may cause suicidal thoughts but the drug is sold in the U.K., Germany and France, the MHRA said.
Acomplia or rimonabant is an anti-obesity drug approved for marketing in Europe in June 2006. The drug acts blocking certain receptors in the brain that help regulate body weight and glucose and lipid metabolism.
Sanofi Aventis said it is monitoring the safety of the product with regulators.
American Depositary Shares of Sanofi Aventis were down 1.04 percent to $36.32 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.