Stepping back from the positives and negatives of the loan, the fact that Vivus needs more money now reeks of desperation. The company ended 2012 with $214 million in cash and marketable securities. Taking on another $50 million in debt now -- plus $60 million later this year -- is a signal that current Qsymia marketing efforts are not gaining traction with doctors or obese Americans. Management expects to spend a lot more money -- and lose a lot more money -- into the foreseeable future. [At least Vivus has a weight-loss pill to sell. <b>Arena Pharmaceuticals</b> <span class=" TICKERFLAT">(<a href="/quote/ARNA.html">ARNA</a> - <a href="http://secure2.thestreet.com/cap/prm.do?OID=028198&ticker=ARNA">Get Report</a><a class=" arrow" href="/quote/ARNA.html"><span class=" tickerChange" id="story_ARNA"></span></a>)</span> can't seem to get its drug Belviq out of the starting gate.]
And then there's Stendra. Forgotten about Vivus' erectile dysfunction drug? You're not alone. FDA approved Stendra last April -- almost one year ago -- but the drug remains on the shelf because Vivus has been unable to find any company willing to buy it.
Shares of Vivus were down 3.6% to $10.54 in Tuesday trading.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.