Arena Pharmaceuticals‘ anti-obesity drug Lorqess has come under fire from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to safety concerns.

According to the advisory panel’s analysis, the drug only met one efficacy standard by a “slim margin” and labelled the average weight loss from the drug as “relatively low”.

Breast cancer tumours were also found in rats administered with the medication, although this was not replicated in humans.

The panel will also decide whether to recall Abbott’s Meridia diet pill , which could require fresh health warnings after it was found to increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths.

The hearings come months after the withdrawal of Vivus’ Qnexa, a diet drug found to increase the risk of heart palpitations.