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 diet-drug developer Arena Pharmaceuticals
So what: It's been 13 years since the FDA approved a diet drug, but Arena's Belviq has ended the drought. The regulator gave Belviq the go-ahead for treatment of patients with a body-mass index (BMI) of 27 or greater, which covers those classified as overweight and obese. Patients also have to have a condition associated with their weight, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Now what: Since an FDA advisory panel had given Arena's drug a thumbs-up back in May, the FDA's decision shouldn't come as a complete surprise to investors. However, there's been a particularly high bar for getting diet drugs through the approval process -- just ask Arena competitors VIVUS
What there's little question of at this point is the size of the potential market for Belviq. But with the approval now in the bank, the next big hurdle for investors is how receptive the market will be and how quickly Arena and its marketing partner Eisai can ramp up sales.
Want to keep up to date on these stocks?
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.
More from The Motley Fool
Here's What Pushed Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Up 10.6% in November
A robust clinical-stage pipeline helped investors forget about Arena's ill-fated weight-loss drug.
The Single Event That Rocketed Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Higher by 10% in October
You could say that Arena "posterized" Wall Street in October and was rewarded for it.
Here's What Lifted Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Stock in September
Preclinical data strengthened the case for Arena's lead candidate.