Vivus Diet Pill Sales May Be Slow Out of a Gate
MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Leland Wilson, a CEO of diet tablet builder Vivus (VVUS), doesn’t chop difference about a intensity of his company’s newly authorized drug.
The diet tablet Qsymia “has a possibility to change how medicine is used around a world,” Wilson told a assembly of analysts and investors this week. “Historically, we have been treating a symptoms of weight advantage (and ) plumpness for years and years with medicines to provide form 2 diabetes and medicines to provide hypertension, etc.”
Qsymia has a intensity to make a vital impact on diseases by obscure weight, Wilson explains. He betrothed to aggressively go after patients who he says will advantage from a plumpness treatment.
He and other Vivus executives also attempted to reduce any concerns that a launch — scheduled for a fourth entertain of this year — might defect investors if a drug doesn’t take off quickly.
Since primarily rising to $29 per share after a proclamation of Qsymia’s capitulation in July, Vivus’ batch forsaken by a quarter, trade midday Thursday during $21.81. The shares are still adult 124% this year. (Multiple issues from obvious concerns to batch sales by Wilson and other insiders have contributed to a decrease in new weeks.)
At a stream valuation, Vivus investors might be in for a disappointment, Cowen Co. researcher Simos Simeonidis says.
“We continue to perspective a US launch of Qsymia by Vivus as a formidable one to lift off successfully,” says Simeonidis, who has a reason rating on a stock.
That’s not to contend Simeonidis doesn’t consider a drug will be a success. In fact, he predicts it will be a blockbuster and potentially bigger than opposition Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) and Eisai’s also approved weight-loss pill. But a hype built around a Vivus drug — heading to a some-more than $2 billion marketplace top — has combined some high expectations, he says. Vivus’ unawareness during offered such products might meant Qsymia is delayed out of a gate, a researcher adds, a problem that drug and biotech investors have seen in a final integrate of years following approvals of earnest treatments.
“The initial ramp-up will be slower than some investors’ expectations,” Simeonidis says, adding that a “shares will be underneath vigour during a initial integrate of buliding of a launch.”
Vivus executives have nonetheless to announce a cost for a drug, though acknowledge that a tablet can’t be overly expensive. For one thing, a association doesn’t design word skeleton to immediately cover a medicine. Patients will have to compensate for a drug out of pocket.
Company officials can also surveillance their drug as potentially some-more effective than Arena’s not-yet-marketed diet tablet Belviq. Both drugs have side effects and Vivus needs to keep a tablet out of a hands of women who might turn profound — topiramate, one of dual active mixture in a pill, might means birth defects. Vivus has a risk-mitigation module in outcome as partial of a US capitulation of a drug. A third opposition company, Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX), is conducting reserve studies on a possess initial diet drug.
Wilson acknowledges a sales bid is a outrageous undertaking, though disagrees that a drug will confront outrageous hurdles during launch. After all, a association isn’t perplexing to sell a dear biotech drug to a tiny studious population, he reasons. The risks and rewards of a drug’s primary mixture are good known. The marketplace for overweight adults is huge.
“We have many goals forward of us,” Wilson told investors this week. “We have to broach this product to patients, and we will not be confident until we get a product out.”
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