Pharmaceutical company VIVUS (Nasdaq: VVUS ) is entering into a potentially lucrative market with its new weight-loss drug Qsymia, but sales from its initial drug launch have not impressed the market. Is VIVUS just going through growing pains, or will this stock continue to falter in upcoming quarters?
In order to help you answer this question, our senior biotech analyst has composed a brand new premium research report that explains VIVUS' market opportunity, risks, and reasons to both buy and sell today. The following excerpt from the report takes an in-depth look at the leadership driving this drugmaker.
If you're going to use one word to describe VIVUS' top management, I think "tenacity" would be it. The team has been there a long time and gone through a lot, including the first rejection of Qsymia. Leland Wilson has been the CEO since 1991. The company's president, Peter Tam, has been with the company since 1993 and worked his way up from manager of clinical research.
Getting Qsymia approved hasn't been easy, but a step back is in order first. Qsymia wasn't the company's first drug -- or even its second or third. Here is an overview of the developmental drug portfolio that VIVUS' executive team had to manage in the years before Qsymia's approval.
The muse that wasn't
VIVUS' first drug was an erectile dysfunction drug called Muse. It was never a big hit, because of the mode of delivery: The drug is a suppository that has to be inserted directly into the penis.
Needless to say, with oral options such as Pfizer's Viagra and Eli Lilly's Cialis, there weren't too many men interested in the drug. Sales peaked at just $19.5 million in 2004.
Women's side wasn't much better
VIVUS was also developing a couple of treatments for female sexual arousal disorder, but neither panned out.
The company's developmental drug for this indication, Alista, demonstrated limited efficacy before reaching phase 3 trials. It was found that -- although Alista more than doubled the number of satisfactory sexual events in phase 2 trials compared to the beginning of the trial -- the increase wasn't statistically significant because patients receiving a placebo also increased their sexual events.
VIVUS also developed a testosterone mist called Luramist, but the drug was terminated because of FDA requirements to ensure the long-term safety of testosterone in women. The added time and costs to prove the drug didn't increase the risk of breast cancer or cause heart issues weren't worth the risk, especially considering the issue with placebo effect making efficacy harder to prove.
This is just a small sample from what you can find in our new premium research report on VIVUS. To get the full scoop on this company's potential as an investment -- including reasons to buy, sell, and an in-depth analysis of the challenges VIVUS is facing -- click here now to learn more today.