MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS) (the Company) today announced that Richard Fante, former president U.S., CEO North America and regional vice president Americas at AstraZeneca, has agreed to provide advisory services to the Company. In this role, Mr. Fante will advise the Company regarding commercial options to access the primary care market and maximize the value of Qsymia ® (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules CIV. Mr. Fante has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals sector. He has an established track record of constructing and managing strong teams and aligning large and small organizations to deliver results. His scope of responsibilities has ranged from building iconic pharmaceutical brands to leading an organization in excess of 7,000 employees and revenues of more than $12 billion. Among his main accomplishments at AstraZeneca were establishing Nexium ®, Crestor ® and Seroquel ® as three of the top 10 brands in the U.S. through well-articulated brand strategies and focused marketing and sales execution. "We are excited to have an executive of Richard Fante's caliber advising VIVUS at this critical time," commented Leland Wilson, chief executive officer of VIVUS. "With the recent FDA approval of the REMS modification for Qsymia, and more payors recognizing medical obesity treatment, VIVUS is making significant progress on its commercialization strategies. Rich's vast experience and unique perspectives building several primary care products into market-leading brands will be extremely valuable as we seek to expand Qsymia's primary care presence." Mr. Fante began his pharmaceutical career as a sales representative. In 1995, Mr. Fante joined AstraZeneca, where he rose through the commercial ranks and was promoted to various senior management roles within the organization, culminating in his appointment as president of the U.S. business in 2008 and CEO for North America in 2009. In 2011, he assumed responsibility for Central and South America. He holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Princeton University and a master's in business administration from the University of North Carolina.