This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Big Weight Loss for Vivus Drug: BioBuzz

Stocks in this article: OPXAVVUS

Updated to add Vivus obesity drug results.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Vivus (VVUS) has announced results from two pivotal studies of its obesity drug Qnexa, and the weight loss is impressive.

In the "Equip" study of 1,267 morbidly obese patients, the full dose of Qnexa produced a placebo-adjusted weight loss of 9.4%.

Sixty-seven percent of patients on full-dose Qnexa lost at least 5% of their body weight, compared with 17% of placebo patients.

In the "conquer" study enrolling 2,487 patients (this group included patients who were less obese than those in the Equip study and also included patients with type 2 diabetes) the placebo-adjusted weight loss for Qnexa was 8.6%.

Seventy percent of full-dose Qnexa patients lost at least 5% of their body weight, compared with 21% of placebo patients.

Low- and mid-doses of Qnexa also were tested with good but less robust weight-loss results.

Tolerability was good, with 59% of Qnexa patients completing the 56 weeks of the study.

The drug's safety profile also looks clean, at least according to the press release. No suicide attempts, no suicidality risk or behavior detected in the study. Depression and depressive behavior were low at 2% across the study.

The company also ran a safety study that demonstrated no heart-rate abnormalities in patients treated with Qnexa.

Going by the data in the press release alone, Vivus' Qnexa data looks strong and tops the weight-loss results already seen by competitors Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) and Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX).

Opexa's Surge a Headscratcher

Sometimes I watch the intraday moves in a biotech stock and say WTF?!?!

And so it was Tuesday with Opexa Therapeutics (OPXA), a micro-cap drug stock that soared 270% to $5.66. At one point in the afternoon, the stock was up 350%. More than 57 million shares traded hands on a 9.5 million-share float.

Unreal.

The cause of the buying frenzy was a press release from the company claiming "additional favorable data" from a previously completed phase II study of Tovaxin, a personalized immunotherapy, or "vaccine" for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

I'll admit to never hearing of Opexa before this weekend, but negative data from this same phase II study of Tovaxin caused the stock to plummet 91% (from $2.34 all the way down to 22 cents) on Sept. 19, 2008.

On Oct. 23, 2008, Opexa provided an update on the Tovaxin phase II study, citing a small subset of multiple sclerosis patients that appeared to benefit from treatment with the vaccine -- or so Opexa claimed. The day after Opexa made this announcement, the stock remained flat at 25 cents.

On November 10, 2008, Dr. Fred Lublin, a multiple sclerosis expert at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, called the Tovaxin data "remarkably unimpressive" at a panel discussion sponsored by the investment bank Rodman & Renshaw.

Opexa offered another update from this same Tovaxin study on March 5 of this year, and once again, the stock did nothing, closing at 28 cents.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,828.24 +0.49 0.00%
S&P 500 2,067.56 -5.27 -0.25%
NASDAQ 4,791.63 +4.3130 0.09%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs