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Sanofi-Aventis' Shares Dive After FDA Rejects Weight-Loss Drug

Investors wiped some 6 billion euros ($7.97 billion) off the market value of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis Thursday after U.S. federal health advisers rejected its Accomplia weight-loss drug.

The Food and Drug administration's advisory panel rejected the drug, also known as rimonabant and Ziumlti, after hearing testimony that it increases the risk of suicidal thoughts, even in patients with no history of depression.

Shares fell 6.8% to 62.67 euros ($83.27) at the open of trade Thursday.

Sanofi-Aventis failed to show the drug is safe, the FDA panel said Wednesday. The unanimous vote by the 14-member panel made it unlikely the FDA will approve the drug. The agency usually follows its panel's advice, but it is not required to do so.

In a statement, Sanofi said it would "continue to work closely with the FDA to address the committee's recommendations."

Goldman Sachs puts Sanofi-Aventis' rating, earnings estimates and price target under review after the FDA panel announcement.

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