Around the Region

Eating disorder drug has good test

Shire PLC, an Irish drug company that had 1,400 employees at its Lexington research campus as of June, announced positive test results for a drug that could be used to treat adults with binge eating disorders.

The drug is known as Vyvanse, and it already has been approved for use in several countries, including the United States, for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Shire is moving toward having the drug approved to treat binge eating disorder, or BED, as well.

BED has a lifetime prevalence of 2.8 percent in adults in the United States and is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating, feeling out of control while binging, and feeling guilt and shame afterward, Shire noted in its press release.


“We are extremely pleased with these results, and will be working expeditiously to submit an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for a new indication of BED for Vyvanse, already well established for its efficacy and safety in ADHD,” Shire chief executive Flemming Ornskov said in a statement. “BED is a condition for which there is no currently approved pharmacologic treatment and yet there is significant unmet patient need. . . . Our development of Vyvanse for BED also aligns well with Shire’s growth strategy of developing innovative treatments to address significant unmet patient needs.”

Chris Reidy

Chris Reidy can be reached at