MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS) ("VIVUS"), which recently began selling the obesity drug Qsymia ® (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules CIV in the United States, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Michael Astrue to serve as its Chairman and Anthony Zook to serve as its Chief Executive Officer, effective today. Mr. Astrue formerly served as Chief Executive Officer of Transkaryotic Therapies, Chairman of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and Commissioner of Social Security. Mr. Zook formerly served as Executive Vice President , Global Commercial Operations for AstraZeneca and President of Medimmune. Mr. Astrue said, "We intend to move quickly on our four main goals: 1) expand use of Qsymia through targeted patient and physician education; 2) find the right partner for Qsymia; 3) quickly create a pathway for approval in Europe; and 4) eliminate expenses that are not essential to expanding use of Qsymia. We are thrilled to have an executive of Tony Zook's caliber already pushing hard on these four goals." Mr. Zook said, "Obesity is a growing disaster for Americans. Aside from its obvious human costs, it creates economic costs due to associated comorbidities such as diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and depression. Our mission is to ensure that at-risk patients and their physicians know about Qsymia and have the information necessary to determine whether Qsymia can help address this devastating condition." About Qsymia Qsymia is approved in the U.S. and is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m 2 or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m 2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol. The effect of Qsymia on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been established. The safety and effectiveness of Qsymia in combination with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established.