Hong Kong, 26 Jun 2008
Media Contact: Emily Hui Tel: 2506 8438 / 9866 0781
Study confirms rimonabant’s efficacy
in visceral fat reduction and lipid profile improvement
Diabetics gain most benefits
Patients who suffer from abdominal obesity and dyslipidemia experienced a significant reduction of
visceral fat and improvement of their lipid profile – HDL & Triglycerides – after taking 1 year of
rimonabant (Acomplia®), according to an international clinical study ADAGIO. The results also
brought new hope to the abdominally obese diabetic patients as the improvements, including better
blood glucose control as well, were more pronounced among them.
ADAGIO was a double-blind, randomized study targeting at patients with abdominal obesity and
dyslipidemia. Over 800 patients were recruited from 53 sites in 14 countries, including Hong Kong,
and were randomized to moderate caloric restriction (600 kcal/day) with either a placebo or
Acomplia (20mg/day). Changes of their cardiometabolic markers were compared at 12 months. For
the first time, an imaging sub-study using computed tomography was conducted - putting the
hypothesis that Acomplia could induce a loss of visceral fat to test.
Findings of ADAGIO once again confirmed the multiple benefits of Acomplia on several markers of
Acomplia arm Placebo arm Mean difference
(Acomplia + dietary control) (dietary control only)
Weight -5.8 kg -2.2 kg -3.61 kg
Waistline -6.2 cm -3.3 cm -2.84 cm
Visceral fat -16 % -5.9 % -10.1 %
Good cholesterol +8.7 % +1.8 % +7.37 %
Triglycerides -19.5 % -2.7 % -17.9 %
Professor Brian Tomlinson, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics of The Chinese
University of Hong Kong, who is also the national co-ordinator of ADAGIO, said, “The study has
set a new therapeutic target for treating abdominal obesity as it confirmed the importance of
visceral fat reduction in improving cardiometabolic profile of the patients. By reducing visceral fat,
patients’ lipid profile is improved, hence, their risks of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease
are significantly lowered. Therefore, a comprehensive therapy for treating abdominal obesity should
go beyond body weight and BMI control, and include reduction of the visceral adipose tissue.”
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Visceral fat, also known as high-risk fat, refers to the fatty tissue located in the mid-section,
wrapped around major organs. It releases harmful chemicals that not only affect the normal
functioning of the internal organs and their metabolism, but also induce insulin resistance, leading
to elevated blood glucose, dyslipidemia and high blood pressure. Type 2 diabetes and heart
disease will eventually be developed.
ADAGIO further revealed that for patients with a history of type 2 diabetes, they recorded a more
pronounced reduction of visceral fat and improvement of their lipid profiles after taking Acomplia for
a year. What’s more, they enjoyed significant improvement in their blood glucose levels over the
Mean difference of Acomplia arm vs Placebo arm on % change
Overall patient population Diabetic sub-population
Visceral fat -10.1 % -15.88 %
Good cholesterol +7.37 % +12.92 %
Triglycerides -17.9 % -40.09 %
HbA1c -0.82 %
Fasting glucose -1.39 %
“This is a good news to the diabetic patients,” Dr Lee Ka Kui, a specialist in endocrinology and
diabetes said, “clinical experience shows that many diabetics are also abdominally obese. The new
treatment not only reduces the amount of visceral fat and improves their lipid profiles, it also helps
the diabetics to achieve better blood glucose control. These are all important for minimizing their
risks of developing heart disease and other complications.” According to the Centers for Disease
Control of the U.S., every percentage point drop in HbA1c blood test results (e.g., from 8.0% to
7.0%) reduces the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney, and nerve diseases) by 40% .
According to International Diabetes Federation, abdominal obesity means a waist circumference
exceeding 90cm and 80cm for Asian men and women respectively. An earlier survey also revealed
that in Hong Kong, over 40 percent of patients visiting a clinic are abdominally obese, among which
over 11% suffered from diabetesii.
Acomplia is the first selective CB1 blocker in the world. CB1 receptors, which are integral in the
energy balance and metabolism of glucose and lipids, are located in abdominal fat, the liver, the
gastrointestinal tract and the brain. Over-activation of these receptors has been shown to stimulate
the formation of fat in cells, resulting in fat accumulation and decreasing the amount of a hormone
called adiponectin which regulates the metabolism of lipids and glucose. By selectively blocking
these CB1 receptors, Acomplia normalizes their over-activity and hence improves cardiometabolic
health including reduced waist circumference and body weight, loss of visceral fat and improved
blood glucose and lipids (especially HDL and triglycerides).
Centers for Disease Control. National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2005. Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2005.pdf. Accessed on April 4, 2008
IDEA Hong Kong Data 2007.
About Acomplia® (rimonabant)
Acomplia® (rimonabant) is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise for the treatment of obese*
patients (BMI ≥30kg/m²), or overweight* patients (BMI >27kg/m²) with associated risk factor(s),
such as type 2 diabetes or dyslipidemia.
Acomplia® is the world’s first agent of a new therapeutic class called selective CB1 receptor
blocker. These receptors play a major role in the regulation of body weight, glucose and lipid
metabolism. A phase III clinical trial named the RIO (Rimonabant in Obesity) has demonstrated that
treatment with Acomplia® induces a decrease in body weight and waist circumference, as well as
control of blood glucose levels and an improvement in HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in
patients with cardiometabolic risk factors.
Acomplia® is registered and launched in Hong Kong in 2007. For more information, please
visit www.acomplia.hk or www.sanofi-aventis.hk.
* HK Department of Health definition:
Obese: BMI ≧25 Overweight: BMI ≧23
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes
therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT:
SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).