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What Does This Rejection Mean for Obesity Drugmakers?

Pharmaceutical company VIVUS  (Nasdaq: VVUS  ) may have gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its weight loss drug, Qsymia, over the summer, but it just received the official rejection from the European Medicines Agency, or EMA. It became clear from preliminary information released in September that Qsymia -- which was going to be launched as Qsiva in the EU -- would be rejected by the EMA. Therefore, this news didn't come as a huge surprise to investors.

VIVUS stated that it will reapply for approval, but will this company lose a big market opportunity if it can't get its drug on the European market? Does this present an opportunity for its chief rival Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA  )  and its obesity drug, Belviq?

In the following video, health care analyst Max Macaluso discusses the reasons for Qsymia's EMA rejection and how this can impact the obesity drug market.

Editor's note: At 0:57, the speaker meant to say that Qsymia is made up of phentermine combined with topiramate. The Fool regrets the error.

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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 20, 2012, at 6:59 PM, andybaron wrote:

    This report was glaringly inaccurate. Qsymia is NOT a combination of phentermine and fenfluramine. Fenfluramine has been banned worldwide for over a decade because it causes heart valve damage. Qsymia is a combination of phentermine and topiramate, and topiramate figured significantly in the CHMP decision because it causes an increased risk of birth defects, specifically cleft lip or palate.

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