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John LaRosa  

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  • Arena Pharmaceuticals Price Target Sets Low Bar [View article]
    One other point. I never said that the ARNA stock price could not go up, or would not. As we all know, stock prices many times follow the herd mentality (momentum stocks that rise in the short term). I'm just saying that from a fundamentals point of view, there have not been any Rx diet drugs that have hit the $1 billion level or even close to it, let along multi-billions. Unfortunately, stock prices don't always relate to a company's fundamentals, or realistic market potential, which is a disconnect and what makes the market a crap shoot.
    Sep 22, 2012. 07:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals Price Target Sets Low Bar [View article]
    Just to clarify. I myself and my company (Marketdata Enterprises) have NO hidden agenda to push down the price of ARNA or any other stock. I have no position in ARNA and don't work for any brokerage firms, or competitors to ARNA. I am just a long-time analyst of the diet market that has seen over the past 20 years lots of diet fads, cycles, products and companies come and go, so I'm speaking from a position of experience. All I'm saying is that, for a variety of reasons, the prescription obesity drugs market has been flat at $450-500 million, and there's a reason for it. Also, that I don't believe any ONE drug or company will reach $1 billion/year sales level, and that stock analysts' forecasts are and always have been wildly optimistic when it comes to these drugs. Time and again I have been proven correct.
    Sep 10, 2012. 01:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals Price Target Sets Low Bar [View article]
    One more thing..the typical dieter stays on a diet for 3-4 months to reach their goal weight, then drops out because they are tired of being under restriction. And, you still have to exercise more and eat better for these drugs to work--i.e. tough long-term lifestyle changes. It's not a magic pill or exercise in a bottle. Dieters don't diet for a full year! So, they won't be filling a prescription for 52 weeks for Lorcaserin or any new drugs. Did anyone take THAT into account when estimating the $1 billion market?
    Sep 8, 2012. 11:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals Price Target Sets Low Bar [View article]
    Remember, the FDA has approved then reversed course and taken off the market, many obesity drugs in the past, after millions of people took them then had side effects. Accomplia, Taranabant, Meridia as recent examples. Yet, stock analysts all claimed that each of these would be a $1 billion/year drug. Never happened. One has to take into account that Rx diet pills are not the ONLY weight loss option out there. You have many competing products that dieters use: diet food, commercial plans like Weight Watchers, Jenny, NutriSystem, dozens of brands of OTC retail pills (Hydroxycut, Xenadrine, etc. - a lot easier to get from your local CVS or Walmart--without a prescription), diet websites, multi-level distributors like Herbalife, Nu-Skin, Shaklee with hundreds of thousands of "distributors", bariatricians, dietitians, diet entrees like Lean Cuisine, infomercials, celebrity diet plans, etc. LOTS of competition for the consumer's weight loss dollar. Yet, these analysts think dieters will suddenly abandon ALL these methods? These guys are dreaming!
    Sep 8, 2012. 11:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals Price Target Sets Low Bar [View article]
    Reply to JMD86... You are assuming that all 100 million obese people in the U.S. will suddenly go on these new drugs. Not going to happen. Only about 4% of dieters use a medical weight loss program, involving an MD, RD or clinic or hospital-based program. Most (80%) of dieters use a do it yourself program (diet website, OTC meal replacements, shakes, bars, retail diet pills like Xenadrine). That's why your $ mkt. estimate is way off. Most dieters do not want to go through the trouble of making a doctor's apptmt., waiting, getting a blood test, and then filling a prescription. Simple human nature. MDs are now wary of prescribing ANY weight loss drug, post Meridia and Xenical. The reason there has been no obesity drug widely used since phen/fen is that they all produce minimal or very moderate weight loss (i.e. 5% or less), plus most had side effects. Dieters want more substantial weight loss. Why should MDs and consumers view Bleviq any differently. Your argument simply doesn't face the realities of what dieters want. You'll see. Time will tell. Don't bet the retirement on ARNA or Vivus. You'll be disappointed, sir. I've tracked the diet market every day for 23 years and published 15+ mkt. research studies on it and all the mkt. segments, plus conference calls with analysts and hundreds of interviews with drug companies, start-ups, pharmaceutical sales tracking firms, etc. . What are YOUR qualification, may I ask?
    Sep 8, 2012. 11:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals Price Target Sets Low Bar [View article]
    Bottom line - Wall St. analysts are not dealing in reality when it comes to predicting sales of obesity drugs. I am an independent analyst of the weight loss market for 23 years, at Marketdata Enterprises, the leading mkt. research firm when it comes to the diet market. The obesity drug mkt. was worth $545 million in 2010--for ALL Rx diet drugs, incl. Meridia & Xenical, and about a dozen variations of phentermine. The mkt. has been stuck at that level of $450-540 mill. from 2003-2010 (Source: Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions, PHAST data). The dieting consumer has, since the 1997 phen/fen fiasco, been leery of ANY Rx diet drug, since all of them accomplish very moderate weight loss and usually have side effects (Think Xenical/Alli and loose stools). As a result, there has NEVER been a blockbuster diet drug in the U.S. that has sold $1 billion a year. I repeat - NEVER. So, why do these so-called experts think this time will be any different? By contrast, sales of phentermine alone, used safely for decades, were $306 million in 2010. $3.5 billion market? I think not, not even globally. Do some research guys. Don't believe the lofty forecasts of these "analysts". Get the UNBIASED facts from Marketdata's reports and its FREE website: DietBusinessWatch.com.
    Sep 7, 2012. 08:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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