This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

The Deal: Vivus Considers Next Steps With Big Pharma Partners

NEW YORK ( The Deal) -- Tony Zook is facing major headwinds in his effort to steer the fortunes of Vivus (VVUS - Get Report), and crucial to that effort is bringing the right licensing partner on board to help commercialize its weight-loss drug Qsymia.

"A large pharmaceutical partner is critical to realize the full potential of [the Qsymia] franchise and to build the market. To date we've made good progress in this area," Zook, Vivus' new CEO, said during the company's second quarter sales and earnings conference call with investors held late Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Vivus developed the promising weight-loss drug Qsymia, and received approval for it a little more than a year ago by the Food and Drug Administration. But it had a disappointing launch and this was borne out in its second-quarter financials. While Qsymia prescriptions were up 37% quarter over quarter, they translated into a mere $5.5 million in sales, and Vivus spent $52.5 million during the quarter. All those scripts were filled via its four certified mail-order pharmacies, a burdensome FDA requirement that has since been lifted.

Vivus recently suffered through a mutiny of sorts, a difficult proxy fight that was finally settled in favor of its 9.9% investor First Manhattan Corp. FMC insisted on the ouster of top management and the creation of a new 11-member board including CEO Tony Zook, a former AstraZeneca executive who has successfully commercialized several drugs. The new board was carefully selected, FMC said, to help provide the necessary expertise for the turnaround. Only one of the four non-FMC-chosen board members, Mark Logan, was appointed prior to April, when FMC began its activist campaign.

However, as the proxy fight was raging, Vivus started to make strides in its Qsymia launch. The company has signed up more than 10,000 certified retail pharmacies, including national and retail chains such as Walgreen (WAG) and Duane Reade. Independent pharmacies will come on board in the fourth quarter, the company said. Along with expanding access to retail outlets, the company has been working with insurers to bring co-pays down to a more consumer-friendly $25 to $35, from the earlier $50 to $65 range.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
VVUS $1.28 2.00%
AAPL $117.34 -0.81%
FB $107.12 2.76%
GOOG $767.04 3.29%
TSLA $237.19 3.01%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,888.35 +168.43 0.95%
S&P 500 2,102.63 +22.22 1.07%
NASDAQ 5,156.3060 +47.64 0.93%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs