This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Biotech Stock Mailbag: Orexigen

Stocks in this article: OREX VVUS ARNA EXAS MNKD AVNR SPPI

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Sick of obesity stocks yet? Never! Leslie C. asks, "What's going to happen at the FDA advisory panel for Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX)?"

I wish I knew but I'm really looking forward to Dec. 7, when the FDA brings together its weight-loss and drug safety experts once again to review Orexigen's diet pill Contrave. I will definitely be live-blogging this panel; stay tuned for details.

Like the tortoise's race against the hare, Orexigen has some real advantages over its chief rivals. The FDA and its two previous weight-loss advisory panels threw some nasty stuff at Vivus (VVUS) and Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA). Orexigen's advantage is being last. The company should have learned enough from the previous panels to put together a presentation that answers the obvious safety questions that will be raised and argues strongly for Contrave's approval.

Like the Vivus and Arena panels before, safety, safety and more safety will be the theme of the day. Contrave is a combination pill consisting of two approved drugs, naltrexone and bupropion. Expect a lot of inquiry about elevated blood pressure, heart rate and an increased risk for seizures -- known side effects of bupropion.

And like Vivus and unlike Arena, Orexigen's Contrave may not get as many questions about efficacy since patients in the clinical trials were able to lose substantial amounts of weight.

It's hard to be overly optimistic about Orexigen's chances on Dec. 7. The two previous FDA panels both voted against Vivus' Qnexa and Arena's lorcaserin. Later, the FDA rejected both drugs. The approval bar for a new weight-loss drug is high!

Orexigen, however, may prove once again that slow and steady wins the race.

My fellow Tweeps had a lot to say about my story Thursday detailing a wrongful termination lawsuit that accuses MannKind (MNKD) of covering up alleged data fraud in clinical trials of Afrezza, the company's inhaled insulin device.

@rscalese tweets, "It is difficult to accept that Alfred Mann would risk so much after all the previous successes."

Mann is the founder of MannKind, an entrepreneurial business legend and a billionaire. Many of MannKind's supporters believe in Afrezza's eventual approval because of Mann's stellar track record.

I understand that, but I also know that everyone fails at some point. Isn't it smarter to look at each business venture -- MannKind, in this case -- on its own merits and forget about what Mann did or didn't do in the past? You only need to look at the recent past to find examples of highly regarded and successful business executives who fall from their lofty perch.

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

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!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • 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