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VIVUS (VVUS) Banks on New Drug Pancreaze, Qsymia Lacks Luster

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On Jan 2, we issued an updated research report on VIVUS, Inc. . The company's portfolio comprises three drugs, Qsymia for chronic weight management, Stendra for erectile dysfunction ("ED") and recently acquired Pancreaze for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (“EPI”).

Shares of VIVUS have fallen 68.6% in the past six months compared with the industry’s decline of 15.7%.


The company remains focused on maximizing the value of and monetizing its legacy products, Qsymia and Stendra. Qsymia sales were lackluster in 2018 due to challenges in the obesity market. Its uptake has been slow due to high out-of-pocket cost burden for patients as a result of lack of reimbursement for the product.

However, the company remains committed to reimbursement and promotional initiatives to boost sales of the drug. Moreover, settlement of patent litigations with Teva (TEVA - Free Report) and Dr. Reddy’s (RDY - Free Report) in 2017 has pushed back generic competition to late 2024.

Early last year, the company had announced its intentions to build a portfolio of commercial drugs with positive cash flow. In May 2018, the company acquired a cash-flow positive drug, Pancreaze, as part of the strategy from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) . The acquisition has been encouraging as the drug had a strong contribution to the company’s topline in three months ending September, its first full quarter after acquisition.

The company is also developing a proprietary soft capsule formulation of tacrolimus for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, its development is in early stages.

Zacks Rank

VIVUS currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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