) recently announced that Anthony Zook, who was appointed as the
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company in Jul 2013 has
resigned due to health concerns. Investors have reacted
negatively to the news.
VIVUS appointed Seth H. Z. Fischer as its CEO effective
immediately. He will also join the VIVUS Board of Directors.
Previously, Fischer served as a senior executive at
Johnson & Johnson
The new CEO has his work cut out for him. The company's lead
product, Qsymia, has performed disappointingly since launch in
Sep 2012. Qsymia revenues in the second quarter of 2013 were $5.5
million as compared to $4.1 million recorded in the first quarter
We remind investors that Qsymia was launched in the U.S. in Sep
2012. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared Qsymia
in Jul 2012 as an adjunct to a healthy diet (low on calories) and
increased physical activity for chronic weight management in
obese (Body Mass Index, or BMI - 30 or more) or overweight (BMI -
27 or more) adults suffering from at least one weight-related
On Apr 16, 2013, the FDA approved an amendment and modification
to the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) of Qsymia.
As per the modification to the REMS, Qsymia can now be
distributed through certified retail pharmacies apart from the
existing certified mail-order pharmacy network. The company
announced retail availability on Jul 1, 2013.
We remind investors that apart from Qsymia, another weight-loss
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) Belviq, received approval in the U.S. last year. Belviq was
launched in the U.S. in Jun 2013.
Apart from Qsymia, VIVUS' portfolio consists of another approved
product, Stendra, for erectile dysfunction (ED), which received
approval in the U.S. in Apr 2012 and in the EU in Jun 2013. The
company is looking for a partner in the U.S.
VIVUS, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold). Biopharma companies that currently look
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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