Amarin Plays to Some Empty Seats at J.P. Morgan Confab

SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- Amarin ( AMRN)has begun wholesale inventory stocking of Vascepa in advance of a planned commercial launch of the triglyceride-lowering fish-oil pill at the end of January.

That was the biggest news nugget from Amarin CEO Joe Zakrzewski's presentation Monday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. The only other surprise (somewhat) was Zakrzewski's investor audience. It was sparse, as in empty seats at both his presentation and the following Q&A breakout session.

The J.P. Morgan confab is jam-packed with investors. The crowds here are really insane, especially on the first day, so to see a less than SRO crowd at a presentation is a bit odd. In Amarin's case, I think it's indicative of the Street's "show me" attitude towards the upcoming Vascepa launch. Without a Big Pharma partner, Amarin is not going to win any significant investor support unless/until it can put up impressive Vascepa sales numbers.

:Zakrzewski acknowledged as much during his breakout session when he asked investors to have patience with the Vascepa launch and not judge Amarin's commercial efforts too soon. He specifically mentioned the harsh reaction investors gave Vivus when early prescription numbers for its weight-loss pill Qsymia came in well below expectations.

Amarin shares are down 11 cents to $8.59 in early Tuesday trading. The stock was up 3% Monday.

Read more about Amarin's J.P. Morgan presentation and the reaction from investors and others on Twitter with this Appeering conversation thread:

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston. 

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Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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