1 Obesity Drug Stock the Market Got Completely Wrong

VIVUS (Nasdaq: VVUS) shocked the market with seemingly unbelievable first quarter results, sending shares over 10% higher. They have since steadily declined. The lesson as always: if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. 

Sales of its obesity drug Qsymia doubled, but to the still low total of $9 million. More concerning prescriptions declined, despite the aggressive discount program for the drug.

In this episode of Market Check-Up, the Motley Fool's health-care focused investing show, analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss the quarterly results, obesity drug competition, and ultimately why Vivus investors should be concerned. 


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  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2014, at 11:52 PM, iongreen wrote:

    It appears Vivus failed to disclose pertinent information regarding their weak patent for Qsymia. Information that investors should have been made privy to. Very disappointed in the management of this company. They have opened the door to a possible class action lawsuit.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:35 AM, marp11 wrote:

    Belviq just crossed the 10k a week barrier,less then 1 year in. With DTC TV only 3 weeks old and EISAI going all in,ARNA will be the stock to move much higher...Oh and BELVIQ does work,the pipeline is amazing and ARNA flush with cash.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:49 AM, gazoo99 wrote:

    There are no grounds for the all American class action lawsuit!

    Investors new the risks of generics and J&J had they chose to pursue a lawsuit to protect components against VVUS.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:51 AM, marp11 wrote:


    The lawsuits are pouring in now. I also just seen a commercial on ABC looking for participants to partake in more class action lawsuits. Takeda nearing 5 year lows on the news and recently cut their sales staff by a considerable margin. This doesn't bode well for OREX who;s trying to pull a VIVUS by trying to bring another generic to market. Arena looking like it's going to be the cream of the crop in the obesity space more & more each day

    orex finished before it even gets rejected

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 1:37 PM, marp11 wrote:

    Document UCM237335 filed by Orexigen with FDA

    Interesting slide # 38 of document UCM237335 filed by Orexigen with FDA.

    "Contrave Largely Nullifies the Beneficial Effect of Weight Loss on Blood Pressure"

    "The same problem is seen with systolic blood pressure. Any benefit of weight loss on this critical marker of cardiovascular health is largely eliminated by Contrave (NB32)."

    "The worsening of key cardiovascular risk factors of blood pressure, heart rate and palpitations caused by Contrave nullifies the cardiovascular benefit of weight loss in these patients

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 3:50 PM, biogemfinder wrote: fool me once shame on fool me twice ..shame on me!!

    What are you guys talking about? The depth and understanding of Contrave, Belviq, and Qsymia shows how little you know and not worthy of Ph.D degree which one or both of you may have. You guys and that Oreily guy touted Qsymia as the better drug because of efficacy, now only to admit that VVUS and qsymia are in trouble. Its 2 years too little and too late. You never mentioned or discussed the fact that qsymia was a mix of generic drugs (with awful side-effects) that could be prescribed separately and has been for decades! No wonder its not selling even after being in the market for 2 years!

    Now you say Contrave from Orex is best of the three?? Based on what?? Its shameful that you have PhDs..they should take them away from you guys for that kind of statement without any substantiation. Just because the CV events are not 2X as much than palcebo, does not mean that its the best means that CV is still an issue and FDA if and when it approves Contrave will have the REMS and much stricter prescribing conditions. Contrave is also a generic of two known compunds which will have the same fate --worse side effects, generic competition..and most important of all - very high dropout rate (more than Belviq or Qsymia) because the side effects are not as tolerable! Plus, someone will come with a similar pill and sell it becuase they will say both drugs are generic and there is no novelty in combining already generic drugs and will challenge any patent or exclusivity Orex may tout.

    In the meantime...Belviq while slower than everyone expected..will be the only game in town. With 1 year anniversary..more Drs are feeling comfortable with prescribing to new patients. With Tv ads the ball has finally started to roll and its just the beginning..with Metformin and Phentermine combo, and its effects on smoking (or any othere compulsive behavior) Belviq has the potential to become a blockbuster many times over. Arena also has other drugs in the pipeline which it is just started to focus on now that Belviq has launched and is progressing well..

    Hope you guys are back to eat that humble pie once the launch and script writing for Contrave are even bigger failures!!

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 2:14 PM, marp11 wrote:

    wouldnt the correct stock that the street bet wrong on

    ARNA??? shorted it cant cover

    and its the winner

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 11:35 PM, Foreeverlong wrote:

    I cannot believe the pathetic and inaccurate coverage Motley Fool provided for ARNA.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2014, at 4:50 AM, marp11 wrote:

    weekly options.....zilch

    they want to be in long now

    games are over

    that week when scrips go up 50% can be any time

    belviq be in or be lost

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David Williamson

The Motley Fool's Healthcare Analyst, I specialize in Pharma, Biotech, and how the ACA (Obamacare) is changing the business of healthcare in America. Follow me on Twitter for breaking stock news, policy thoughts, and misc musings...

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