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  • The Time To Buy Arena Pharmaceuticals Is Now [View article]
    33% continuation rate is maybe in the ballpark, but you are saying that investors should assume only 5% seek treatment for obesity, and Belviq gets only 10% of those. So you are assuming a .05% initial penetration rate for this safe weight-loss drug. Wow. Even Arna bears have historically assumed a 2% initial penetration rate, 4 times your estimate. Also, as most have done, I don't think you're including revenue from the first 12 weeks of trial with the larger pool of customers. You only included the revenue from those who continue after the 12 weeks.
    Jul 16, 2012. 11:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Hedge Funds Prefer Vivus Over Arena [View article]
    It seems like you are mainly explaining why the hedge funds got trapped in VVUS and out of ARNA, but you are not really commenting on which drug is really the better one now that the FDA has ruled, except to say there is room for both.
    Jul 11, 2012. 12:04 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena: Why You Should Wait For A Pullback [View article]
    Nice article, fair and balanced. The headline seems to emphasize "why you should not buy now" but the author is saying that medium and long-term this is a winner, so I think his main point is it's a good buy. He is just be advising buying on pullback. A little different emphasis. Personally, I don't know if I would wait or not, because this is a news-driven stock and there may be more good news coming out, but there are certainly valid short-term strategies that use this reasoning.

    The average person hears placebo and thinks it's like nothing, and actually there was a high degree of professional supervision over diet and exercise in both placebo and Belviq groups, which makes Belviq's results more impressive, but overall very nice article.
    Jul 10, 2012. 10:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena: What Analysts Are Missing [View article]
    Another soft-bash article with a title making it seem like it will be positive to get you to read it. SA has been publishing about one of those a day lately on this drug. What's up with that? It seems like there are a lot of potential buyers who want the price to drop or stay low so they can get in.

    It's not that it's illegal to have a negative opinion, it's just that all these articles use misinformation. You have to be near an idiot to buy that fundamental price-sales kinds of analyses are relevant to a biotech that hasn't started it's first sales yet. Then, if you care to compare apples to apples, in both an analysis that included drop-outs, or an analysis that included only those that completed, Lorcaserin caused 75% of the weight loss that Qnexa did, not half. People that took Lorcaserin lost 8.2% of body weight, not 3%. That 3% statistic comes from finding the worst possible way to present the results, a choice that is so selective and leaves out so much that it isn't fair to use. The bottom line, if you want to be accurate, is that Belviq plus diet and exercise led to more than twice as many people experiencing significant weight loss as diet and exercise and a placebo. 35% of those taking Belviq lost more than 10% of body weight, some much more.
    Jul 4, 2012. 10:29 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals' Belviq Approval May Not Match The Hype [View article]
    The main problem I have with the article is that "5% or more" does not mean 5%. The average loss after a year was 8.2%, but 35% lost 10% of body weight or more, some much more, so you take the pill for a month and see how well it does for you. If no help, no harm no foul. It is a misunderstanding to think everyone that takes it loses 5%. Also, it is designed to just make dieting and exercise easier and more effective, not replace it. So doctors don't have to "prescribe it over diet and exercise."
    Jun 30, 2012. 02:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Which Weight Loss Drug Manufacturer Should You Buy? [View article]
    Nice article, Q, I appreciate an attempt to be balanced. Just one misunderstanding that you share with far, far too many. Would you please consider that it isn't fair to compare Belvig and Qnexa by using placebo-adjusted results when Belviq's placebo was twice as powerful as Qnexa's. To be fair, use the % of body weight lost by completers after a year, 8% for Belviq, 10.5% for Qnexa, please.
    Jun 28, 2012. 10:47 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obesity Race: Update, Part 2 [View article]
    From Part 1: "The US is currently the biggest single market for weight loss drugs, followed by Europe. However, China, Russia, and India could soon begin to eclipse Western countries for obese populations. China alone is predicted to reach 665-670 million in overweight and obese by 2015 (vs. perhaps 240 million US). China alone could more than double ARNA's value." Reference:
    Remember you are dealing with a much larger population, so you can have a smaller percentage of overweight but end up with a greater number.
    Jun 26, 2012. 09:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obesity Race: Update, Part 2 [View article]
    Thank you for all the wonderful comments so far. KLLJ and Andy, as always, your comments are fascinating and add as much as the article, if not more. I agree with Andy about the other interesting off-label uses that will be tried. Re: VVUS, my position is that I would really like to see the country have both meds available, but I think ARNA is the more undervalued.
    Jun 26, 2012. 09:03 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena's Lorcaserin: When Placebos Work Too Well [View article]
    The question is, what would be the average weight loss if everyone who started the trial finished it. I'm saying it has to be somewhere between 8.2% and 6% based on logic. Those that lost no weight on it would be more likely to drop out than those with good weight loss, so the number has to be less than 8.2%. But I agree, not everyone that dropped out did so because of no weight loss. Some people move, some people lose interest, sometimes life hands you other priorities. So the number has to be over 6%. You see, it has to be somewhere between. I would peg it at closer to the 8% based on the early finding.
    Jun 20, 2012. 09:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obesity Race: Update, Part 1 [View article]
    Nice play dsr70.
    Jun 15, 2012. 12:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obesity Race: Update, Part 1 [View article]
    Thank you Philly for your excellent comments post-publication and for your review and help pre-. There are many things that I did not include in current price projections. If Arena started pursuing an indication for T2DM as you predict, that would clearly raise the value. If successful it would handle the major concerns with long-term continuation rates and suggest blockbuster status.
    Jun 6, 2012. 03:21 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obesity Race: Update, Part 1 [View article]
    Charlie, I wrote a Seeking Alpha article specifically to explain why using the placebo-adjusted weight loss estimate for Lorcaserin as if it would be the real world weight loss is invalid in this case. "Arena's Lorcaserin: When placebos work too well." Please read it.

    Gaucho, you are right that I didn't account for diabetics and smokers. But I think our numbers differ because I am not at all assuming that everyone that starts Lorcaserin takes it for a year.

    Andy, thanks again. You and I seem to have similar investing strategies.
    Jun 6, 2012. 01:08 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals: FDA Approval Is Just The Beginning [View article]
    I completely agree that Arena is still a good buy. Your numbers may be a little conservative. Off-label uses like Lorcaserin plus phentermine, Lorcaserin plus Qnexa, etc., may become treatment options for obesity, and Lorcaserin may be given off-label to the overweight but not obese. Thus, Lorcaserin may be either the treatment or an ingrediant in the treatment of more than 2% of the market. In the more distant future, there are also Arena's other possible drugs, and the possibility of other uses for Lorcaserin, because of it's unique ability to target the 2C receptor, such as nicotene, nailbiting (OK, anecdotal only) and etc.
    May 13, 2012. 09:59 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Preview Of Arena's Upcoming Advisory Committee [View article]
    Excellent article. What occurs to me is how important it is that in Hamburg's quote, "Disease conditions such as obesity," she is officially describing obesity as a disease. This is new thinking at the FDA and may be an important, purposeful signal. This whole debate reminds me about the battle to call drug addiction a disease 30 years ago. It seems clear to me that in time those that have already become obese will be considered to be battling a disease, just like we call it today once someone is addicted to a drug. Preventing obesity, just like preventing drug use, may be considered different because the addiction has not yet taken effect.
    May 7, 2012. 09:31 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena's Lorcaserin: When Placebos Work Too Well [View article]
    Sorry if I misread you Philly. In my first article, I quoted 8% using the completers. People made an argument to me, that sounded reasonable, that a lot of those who dropped out may have done so because they were not losing weight. 100 people start the trial, and if all 100 of them were to finish, they would average 7%. But more of those not losing drop out, so the 60 people that do finish have an average of 8%, and the completer stat is a little inflated. No?
    May 2, 2012. 10:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment