Obesity drug makers have looked, well, weighed-down lately.
) is feeling the pressure, down 23.6% this year, while
) has fallen 34.2% in 2013. Bearishness is so high that the short
float on ARNA is around 28.5% and 31.6% on VVUS. Could the share
prices for these companies improve any time soon?
Charles Duncan, an analyst at Piper Jaffray,
his target price on Vivus. Worried about patent expirations, Duncan
lowered his target price to $14, down from $20.
Waiting for Qsymia Approval in Europe
Vivus is seeking approval for its drug Qsymia in Europe, and
a request asking for advice on gaining approval under the
centralized procedure. Its study, AQCLAIM (A Qsymia CardiovascuLAr
morbIdity and Mortality), is among the post-marketing requirements
for the obesity drug.
Launched last year in the US, Qsymia has FDA approval for
in overweight and obese patients, when combined with a healthier
diet and exercise.
Sales Growth Through Advertising
Tepid prescription growth for Arena's option for weight control,
Belviq, may be tempering its share price. On the week ending
September 13, the prescription count was 3,314, growing a negative
14% week-over-week. Arena and partner
(OTCMKTS:ESALY)even began running full-page ads in
O, The Oprah Magazine
to raise awareness of its obesity drug.
Stock Performance of Arena and Vivus
The weight-loss business is massive, and is
to be worth over $60 billion. Weekly script data could fluctuate
wildly for Arena in the short term, and it will take time before
Belviq ads are viewed and potential customers respond. It's hard to
know if Arena will be able to ramp up sales, but investors who
missed the last run up could be rewarded. Makers of new drugs can
be seen as investments that take time to prove themselves. Just
like that diet we keep saying will start. Tomorrow.
Charts powered by Kapitall. Sourced from Zacks Investment
This story by Chris Lau of
was written exclusively for Minyanville.
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