Seeking Alpha

Vivus (VVUS) shares are predictably chomping at the bit premarket, surging 13.3% after the FDA...

Vivus (VVUS) shares are predictably chomping at the bit premarket, surging 13.3% after the FDA yesterday approved its weight-loss drug Qnexa/Qsymia. Shares had fallen sharply prior to the announcement. Also this morning, rivals Arena (ARNA) -5.9% and Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) +3.2%.
Comments (12)
  • THe ARNA drop is market maker related. They do not like this stock and will do everything in their power to drive it down. In the long run they will not be able to continue this but for now it is their show.
    18 Jul 2012, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • Agreed. However, the market makers are deliberately hurting the retail investors. It's not fair. Market Makers are upset because they didn't have a huge stock position in Arna.
    18 Jul 2012, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • ARNA is held mostly by the common person.VVUS is held mostly by the institutions..I still think Arna will prevail and this company will double.Wall street games again...
    18 Jul 2012, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • The FDA was caught between a rock and a hard place with VVUS's Qnexa diet pill. First of all, the FDA has received pressure from congress to do something about obesity; secondly, Qnexa is a combination of two pills already on the market. So how could they not approve it. Qnexa is highly restrictive because of one of the ingredients, Topomax, which is a seizure medication that causes birth defects (cleft palate) if taken in early pregnancy. It has also been shown to cause increased heart rate. The FDA at least made the combo restrictive enough that only specialty pharmacies can dispense the drug, VVUS cannot promote the drug and regular PCP's cannot prescribe it. Also, the FDA recently approved Belviq, the safest and first diet pill approved in 13 years.....Belviq will be the drug of choice for doctors and patients. But now, the FDA will have congress off their backs.
    18 Jul 2012, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • I just don't see the market for Qnexa being as big as most think. The biggest problem may come from major health insurance companies - who would ok generics whenever available. In this case, the constituent pieces of Qnexa would be pushed over the combo pill. I see the doctors doing the same thing, as this way they have more ability to 'fine tune' the process.
    18 Jul 2012, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • If a fat person on the pill cannot lose the estimated 3% body fat after taking the pill consistently for 3 WEEKS, they said taking it any longer wasn't going to help. wtfo? I'm taking my profits.
    18 Jul 2012, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • I've been on the phen/topomax combo for ten weeks and it is a godsend because it works great. It kills your appetite and boosts your metabolism. I have to set a reminder system to eat something so I don't crash during the day. Any possible side effects are insignificant relative to the health benefits this can deliver to 80 million people who have been shamed to believing that their weight condition is some character flaw and moral failure - including physicians. Obviously, the loss will be temporary if there is no pattern change and the meds stop. People take lipitor continually, or diabetes medication, etc. Why should this be different?
    18 Jul 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • Hi Utah,

     

    Congrats on getting results, but the question really is this: right now you take 2 pills but would you be willing to pay a lot more if you could take those 2 drugs in one combined pill - and also your doctor would not have the ability to 'fine tune' your dosage schedule?

     

    Again, I think that the insurance companies will balk at having to pay for a this drug when they can just get the generics...
    18 Jul 2012, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • My question is will Arena prove to have one other excellent side benefit that Fen-phen had.. which is that many dermatological problems cleared up after the use of fen-phen? The makers of fen-phen knew about this ...many patients were using the drug for the off-label use. Has Arena seen the same benefit yet in its studies? Since both drugs seem to work on a specific area on the brain ... maybe Belviq will prove to have a similar and very lucrative off-label use to help millions of sufferers with dermatological problems! Just imagine the revenue then!
    18 Jul 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • When the euphoric smoke surrounding the approval of VVUS' drug clears and the marketplace understands the impact of the highly cautionary REMS for QSYMIA, the supposedly huge market for this drug may be MIA itself.
    18 Jul 2012, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • Looking to add more ARNA after reading all the doctor comments on these posts. They will not prescribe VVUS pill
    18 Jul 2012, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • Dear Linda,
    What derm problems did Phen-Fen help?
    Can you please let us know. have not heard of Serotonin agonist meds helping the skin unless the skin problem was from stress and anxiety. Perhaps with less food intake lower food allergen burden in the system.
    Karlis Ullis, MD
    Santa Monica, CA 90405
    kullismd@gmail.com
    18 Jul 2012, 02:34 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)