VIVUS, Inc. (VVUS - Free Report) signed an agreement with global, privately owned pharmaceutical company Alvogen giving rights to the latter to market anti-obesity drug Qsymia in Korea for the treatment of chronic weight management or weight-related conditions.
VIVUS’ shares have underperformed the industry year to date. The stock has declined 23.4% as against the industry’s gain of 9.9% in the same time frame.
Per the agreement, Alvogen will be responsible for obtaining and maintaining regulatory approvals and for all sales and marketing activities of Qsymia in Korea. On the other hand, VIVUS will receive an undisclosed upfront payment along with future milestone payments that will depend certain predecided criteria. VIVUS will also receive royalties on Alvogen's net sales of Qsymia.
VVUS believes that partnership with Alvogen will be very beneficial as the latter has the required expertise to make Qsymia successful in Korea.
Sales of Qsymia have been weak since its launch due to high out-of-pocket cost burden for patients owing to lack of reimbursement for the product. Healthcare providers are often hesitant to treat obesity proactively despite the presence of evidence regarding the cardiometabolic benefits of weight loss among overweight and obese individuals.
However VIVUS is working on boosting Qsymia sales by expanding reimbursement and promotional initiatives. The company is working on improving patient access while reducing out-of-pocket costs for Qsymia. The company is also pursuing several programs to increase the utilization of Qsymia for the most appropriate patient types. VIVUS has also invested in a digital campaign to expand its reach to information-seeking consumers.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
VIVUS currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in health care sector include Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN - Free Report) , Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN - Free Report) and Aduro BioTech, Inc. (ADRO - Free Report) . While Alexion and Regeneron sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Aduro carries Zacks Rank#2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ earnings per share estimates have moved up from $5.32 to $5.61 for 2017 and from $6.53 to $6.92 for 2018 over the last 60 days. The company delivered positive earnings surprises in all the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 11.12%. The share price of the company has increased 18.3% year to date.
Regeneron’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $12.86 to $14.99 for 2017 and from $15.52 to $16.49 for 2018 over the last 60 days. The company pulled off positive earnings surprises in two of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 10.11%. The share price of the company has increased 34.6% year to date.
Aduro’s loss estimates per share have narrowed from $1.36 to $1.32 for 2017 and from $1.26 to $1.24 for 2018 over last 30 days. The company came up with positive earnings surprises in two of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 2.53%.
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