Vivus Soars on an Anti-Obesity Drug’s Likely Approval

Qnexa’s pending OK has the shares nearly doubling


Shares of pharmaceutical company Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) skyrocketed on Thursday on news that a Food & Drug Administration advisory committee has recommended that Vivus be granted an approval for Qnexa.

The once-a-day pill is aimed at appetite suppression, and given the huge marketing opportunities for a potential anti-obesity treatment, investors are showing fairly unrestrained enthusiasm: The stock is up nearly 90%, to $19.71, in midday trading on Thursday.

The advisory committee’s recommendation isn’t binding on the FDA, but the agency rarely goes against such decisions. In a press release, Vivus notes that “In phase 2 and 3 clinical data to date, patients taking Qnexa have demonstrated statistically significant weight loss, glycemic control, and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, when used in combination with a diet and lifestyle modification program.”

In addition to being an anti-obesity drug, Vivus is also examining Qnexa as a treatment for type 2 Diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. The potential for Qnexa being a hit in the highly desirable weight-loss market is obviously more than enough for investors.

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