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Arena Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation by Merck of Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Niacin Receptor Agonist
Date:2/18/2009

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced today the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial of an orally administered niacin receptor agonist drug candidate being developed by Merck & Co., Inc., under its collaboration with Arena to treat atherosclerosis. Agonists of the niacin receptor have the potential to regulate plasma lipid profiles, including HDL, or the "good" cholesterol, similar to the therapeutic action of niacin. The initiation of this trial does not trigger a milestone payment.

The Phase 2 clinical trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the safety, tolerability, as well as potential efficacy, of the niacin receptor agonist in patients with dyslipidemia.

"We are pleased with Merck's decision to advance this niacin receptor agonist into Phase 2," said Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to the Phase 2 results and to the possible continued advancement of this program."

About Arena Pharmaceuticals

Arena is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing oral drugs in four major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, central nervous system, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Arena's most advanced drug candidate, lorcaserin, is being investigated in a Phase 3 clinical trial program for the treatment of obesity. Arena's broad pipeline of novel compounds target G protein-coupled receptors, an important class of validated drug targets, and includes compounds being evaluated independently and with partners, including Merck & Co., Inc., and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Arena Pharmaceuticals(R) and Arena(R) are registered service marks of the company. "APD" is an abbreviation for
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SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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