Is VIVUS' Loss Arena's Gain?

The European Medicines Agency recently handed VIVUS (Nasdaq: VVUS  ) an official rejection for its obesity drug Qsymia, leading Arena (Nasdaq: ARNA  ) shareholders to wonder if this creates a major opportunity for the pharmaceutical company's competing drug, Belviq.

While Qsymia and Belviq are both FDA-approved in the U.S., an EU decision on the latter isn't due until next year. Approval on two continents would be a huge win for Arena and its partner Eisai, but that could be easier said than done if the Qsymia rejection is also a signal that weight loss drugs will not face easy approvals in Europe. In the video below, Fool.com analysts Max Macaluso and David Williamson look at several possible scenarios, and discuss how it could ultimately go either way for Arena.

After gaining FDA approval for Belviq, Arena Pharmaceuticals (and its investors) enjoyed the hard-won designation of "success story" in biotech's do-or-die industry. Now, with EU approval on the horizon, stakes are higher than ever, and it looks like the company may still have its fair share of obstacles ahead. In our premium research report on Arena Pharmaceuticals, Fool.com health care analyst and ARNA expert Brian Orelli, PhD, walks investors through the must-know opportunities – and potential threats – facing the future of the company. Since key news can develop quickly, Brian will continue to deliver a year's worth of updates and guidance for all who sign up. To learn more and access your report today, click here now.

David Williamson has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Max Macaluso, Ph.D. has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. 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.


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  • Report this Comment On October 22, 2012, at 2:46 PM, beatlesforever wrote:

    This discussion misses the scientific basis against approval. I see a very strong scientific basis FOR approval by EU. Belviq is very safe, and easily meets the efficacy requirements of EU. EU had a strong case for rejection of Qsymia but Belviq is a different story altogether.

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