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  • Belviq And Phentermine Study Awes Some Investors - Should It? [View article]
    How is it monetized? The same way AHP was looking to monetize Redux during the fen-phen era. Only 2.3M patients take phentermine a year. It isn't widely used because people almost always gain the weight back after they stop. Bel-Phen looks to be at least as effective as fen-phen but with a much better safety profile. Is it possible to get to the 16-18M a year in scripts that fen-phen did? Even if that happens but with 1 Belviq per day as the standard, it is a $1B a year market. Given the pilot studies are for Belviq BID, then there will be enough who take it twice a day to make net sales between $1-2B. You don't need a single pill to monetize it. You also have a subset who will take Belviq for maintenance. There was no maintenance with fen-phen. Most would also gain the weight back when you stopped it.

    Yes, it is way too early to know what happens here but the point is that even if it is Belviq once a day takes hold in combination with phen for women looking to lose 12% weight in 3mo, then earnings for ARNA are close to $2. More than double today's share price. It is also important to mention that with BelPhen becoming common, there is little reason why anyone would want the other combination therapies presented in Qsymia or Contrave.

    The BelPhen data isn't going to increase sales by 20%, 30%, 40% etc. just by having the data out there. It will require mass consumer awareness of the combination & the efficacy and those consumers then drive the market to multiples of what it is today. Nobody knows if this happens in 6mo or in 3 years. I discussed this in greater detail in my blog yesterday:
    Sep 17, 2014. 10:40 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals - A Biotech Value Investment [View article]
    Great Poster at the ASBP symposium going on today in Austin for a small BelPhen study done by a weight loss specialist. He saw about 12% mean weight loss in 12 short weeks. Don't know if he did Belviq / Phen 15mg BID or QD. Regardless, stellar results and I would bet half of the patients saw 15%+ weight loss over those 12 weeks. Consistent of what I have heard from others and foretelling of the upcoming Eisai/Arena-sponsored BelPhen Pilot Study results coming in the next couple of months.
    Sep 12, 2014. 10:32 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals - A Biotech Value Investment [View article]
    Thanks Steinbeck for the excellent feedback. I'll write the "and Arena investors lived happily ever after" article in 2017-2018. Give it some time. :-)
    Sep 11, 2014. 01:20 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals - A Biotech Value Investment [View article]
    Adam, I know you are extraordinarily well-respected in the industry and I'm shocked you have the time to read and comment on a fairly unimportant article on a biotech not even worth $1B. Yes, thanks for pointing out my optimism for a quick launch was wrong. Perhaps my assessment of Belviq's clinical chances of having successful results for smoking cessation will be wrong? Or perhaps Belviq + phentermine won't be more effective than Qsymia high-dose, which almost no patient gets to because of the side effects. Or perhaps I'm wrong on the pipeline potential. Who knows. We'll have to wait and see what happens over the next 3-5 years. I'm sure you will still be in the exact same job, writing articles for a dying company in those 3-5 years while I occasionally post my over-zealous predictions on Seeking Alpha.
    Sep 10, 2014. 10:22 PM | 45 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals - A Biotech Value Investment [View article]
    I wish I could explain why it doesn't add up. What also doesn't add up is the stock down over 50% while the short interest has gone down over 40%. It is counter-intuitive. I see the smoke but no fire yet.

    ARNA at $4, $8 or $12, the facts remain the same. Sometimes, a stock price is difficult to justify both at the lows and at the highs. With Arena, there is a severe disconnect between the probabilities of future sales and the current stock price. There are plenty of biotechs that trade at way inflated values when compared to Belviq with a fraction of the potential.
    Sep 10, 2014. 06:18 PM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals - A Biotech Value Investment [View article]
    I failed to mention in my article that over the last year, Short Interest has dropped from 66M down to 38M as of the last reporting date today:

    Despite the pressure on the share price, the shorts interest has dropped dramatically. If the market truly thought there was no future for Belviq or for Arena, the short interest would be sky rocketing and not dropping to multi-year lows.
    Sep 10, 2014. 05:00 PM | 26 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Orexigen's Weight Loss Drug Will Be Approved Soon And Will Lead Market - Here Is Why [View article]
    If approved, Contrave will face the exact same generic equivalent competitive pressures that Qsymia has battled.
    May 28, 2014. 10:43 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals - Why I Believe It Is The Next Major Biotech [View article]
    Yes, I was horribly wrong about early sales. However, it doesn't mean they won't come and doesn't change my long thesis. My call to buy at $1.25 wasn't bad though. It is easy to hold with a low cost basis and long term investment horizon. Not as easy for the folks who bought in much higher.
    Jan 18, 2014. 08:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena's Belviq - The Path To $150 Million In Sales [View article]
    Each retail prescription is for 60 pills and each bottle sold to the pharmacy is 100 pills so the calculation is off by approx 40%.
    Jun 26, 2013. 07:38 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena: The Improving Odds Of A Belviq Blockbuster [View article]
    "That to me is worth a speculative play on a $1.25 stock. At this level, Arena is trading like a never-expiring zero strike call option."

    And 13 of the 45 comments on that article came from you arguing why Belviq wouldn't get approved. You probably should have bought the stock.
    Jun 25, 2013. 09:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena: The Improving Odds Of A Belviq Blockbuster [View article]
    People have been disagreeing with my thesis since I recommended ARNA at $1.25. I recall you also saying you would write an article in response to a similar comment a year go, still no article. Just prolific comments from someone who has done little research. Here is a point by point response to your comments.

    1). The AMA endorses new drugs for medical weight management. The only novel drug is Belviq. There is room for half a dozen blockbusters in this drug category.
    2). You miss the complete point here. Drug intervention is now listed to aid when diet and excercise isn't enough and prior to other diabetes drugs. It is my opinion that Dr.'s will write for Belviq most frequently because it has the best tolerability and side effect profile of any of these drugs. It also reduces HbA1c by .8 for non-responders and 1.2 for responders. Read the link to the most recent study before.
    3). Commercial coverage for 30% at launch + several states will cover at launch but this will grow to most everyone in 2015. There will be a lot of responders who take chronically but we will just have to see.
    4). Eisai guided to $150-200M in thier FY2013, excellent numbers and putting it on path to a blockbuster in 2015.
    5). Yes it would but shows that Accenture and Eisai under forecasted demand.
    6). Eisai forecasted government coverage by 2017 and it should happen much earlier. This bill will have a lot of support and the AMA behind it.
    7). Shorts original thesis was it wouldn't be approved. They were wrong.
    8). Shorts have grown because now the thesis is Belviq = Qsymia and they are again wrong.
    9). Neither Meridia or Orlistat had the profile of a 1st line drug. To make the comparison shows how uneducated you are in the matter.

    I of course could be wrong and you don't know until you look in hindsight. I have no problem with points being challenged but the arguments aren't very good.
    Jun 25, 2013. 08:12 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena: The Improving Odds Of A Belviq Blockbuster [View article]
    Lipitor generated $865M its first full year on the market and $2B in Year 2. I don't know if Belviq will do $2B in Year 2. It is unlikely but in Years 3 and 4, it could catch up and do $4B a year. Cart before the horse. Right now Wall Street doesn't expect much success with Belviq and that is the point.

    After over 1K comments on Seeking Alpha, one would think you could take your vast knowledge and wisdom to write an article we can all learn from.
    Jun 24, 2013. 09:46 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Surges On Script Data [View article]
    "I have personally stated that I would like to see the company get to 40,000 scripts in the first three months of sales (i.e. June, July, August). In my opinion, if the company can do that number they have a shot at seeing 12 month sales at $250 million. Hitting $250 would trigger purchase price adjustments and the lowest tier of bonus payments."

    Incorrect. You need $250M in Net Sales by the end of March 2014, 9mo, in order to trigger the first set of Purchase Price Adjustments. The PPA's are calculated based on Eisai's fiscal year, not a calendar year, which runs until the end of March. I personally think you could see 40K scripts a week before the end of 2013.
    Jun 21, 2013. 12:35 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Study Of Arena's Lorcaserin Against The Backdrop Of Several Anti-Obesity Mechanisms [View article]
    Although an analysis of the MOA of each drug is interesting, an equal focus on the safety and tolerability profile is just, if not more, important. As an example, GLP-1's are injected and have a host of serious side effects such as pancreatitis. Qnexa causes tingling in the extremities, cognitive issues and a risk of birth defects. You need a holistic review of each one to include efficacy with MOA, safety and tolerability.

    The key of a widely used monotherapy is for it to be mild, safe and tolerable. For Belviq, it has a defined set of responders and this is caught in the label. Take it for 12 weeks and you will either be a responder or not. About 42% (as a mono-therapy) are classified as responders and go on to lose an average of 11-12%. Diabetics reduce HbA1c by a full point, better than many blockbuster diabetes drugs such as Januvia, regardless of weight loss. Bariatricians will combine with cycles of phentermine which will dramatically increase the efficacy and the two work in synergy to off-set side-effects. Cardiologists, Endocrinologists, Gastroenterologists, and PCP's will primarily use it as a mono-therapy. It is the most-important molecule for this indication approved to-date. We will see how it will do in the market soon.
    Jun 4, 2013. 09:43 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena: Marketing An Anti-Obesity Drug [View article]

    I hope you don't take offense but it seems like you are grasping for content to justify publishing endless SA articles on Arena for the sake of earning .01 a page click. Your knowledge of this space seems cursory at best.

    "Why mention the benefits of Belviq for diabetes in this article? The company can not even market the drug for diabetes as it is not labeled for that. The fact of the matter is that losing weight (via any method) has positive impacts on diabetes."

    BLOOM-DM results are right there in the label and it can absolutely be marketed as a diabetes drug. Do you believe that Belviq's MOA for reducing HbA1c and Fasting Glucose in diabetics is weight loss? It sounds like you do. You should compare the DM results for Qsymia and Belviq. Weight loss is a part but there is a sub-receptor at 2c that has an impact on glucose control. You should research this.

    "The novo drug victoza is an interesting look." Novo has already said this drug is for the severely obese only. It is 5X the cost of Belviq, injected and comes with severe potential AE's. No payor would cover victoza for weight loss before trying less expensive, milder agents first. These drugs are not competitive.

    "The ONLY benefit of being novel is in the patent protection." No, this is a benefit but not the main benefit. A novel molecule as a single agent provides a new tool for physicians to try. As a novel agent, it can be combined with other drugs. It has the ability to be indicated for other diseases over time. There are numerous benefits to being a novel drug.
    May 30, 2013. 09:32 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment