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Why VIVUS Shares Soared

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of VIVUS (Nasdaq: VVUS  ) have soared Monday by as much as 12% after the company scored a distribution deal with Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX  ) .

So what: Express Scripts has joined the Qsymia Certified Home Delivery Pharmacy Network, broadening VIVUS' distribution for its weight-loss pill that was launched just last month. Qsymia will be available through mail order. With Express Scripts being the country's largest pharmacy benefit manager, this deal is a boon for VIVUS.

Now what: Qsymia is the first to enter the obesity drug market in 13 years, and investors are clearly excited about its potential to boost the top line. The deal today is a good sign that VIVUS has a leg up on Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA  )  and its competing Belviq drug for the time being. Belviq has already been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, but hasn't been released into the market pending DEA clearance. For now, VIVUS has a first-mover advantage.

VIVUS may have just made a huge move, but is Arena that far behind in the obesity drug battle? The Motley Fool's most knowledgeable biotech writer has compiled details on Arena Pharmaceuticals into one clear report, which details the key developments you must be watching if you want to profit on its stock. There's a huge opportunity in Arena, but you have to be careful. To get instant access to the Fool's expert analysis today, simply click here now

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Express Scripts. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Express Scripts. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2012, at 4:16 PM, CER4040 wrote:

    Much ado about nothing. I wouldn't even consider this a toenail up on Arena much less a leg. You still need a doctor to write a prescription and to ignore its risky safety profile. Not to mention they most likely won't get approval in Europe.

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2012, at 4:41 PM, bhasa04 wrote:

    The FDA has required a REMS for Qsymia.

    The purpose of the Qsymia REMS is to inform prescribers and females of reproductive potential about the:

    Increased risk of congenital malformation, specifically orofacial clefts, in infants exposed to Qsymia during the first trimester of pregnancy

    Importance of pregnancy prevention for females of reproductive potential receiving Qsymia

    Need to discontinue Qsymia immediately if pregnancy occurs

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2012, at 4:45 PM, Bampotsco wrote:

    Who needs Europe? Next time you eat out in any American establishment, check out the BMI super sized portions. Would you like fries with that?

    Twitter @BAMPOTSCOT.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 8:44 AM, mdriver78 wrote:

    Arena already has a distribution agreement with partner Eisai, who will by the be paying an incentive fee for that right, which I doubt that Express Scripts is, boy the hedge funds are working overtime time to pump a shady drug mixture that is banned in the rest of the wrold, go figure.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 10:53 AM, CER4040 wrote:

    @Bampotsco If they didn't need it they wouldn't have applied for approval there.

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ARNA $1.57 Down -0.02 -1.26%
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VIVUS CAPS Rating: **