SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

July 20, 2012 08:20 ET

Arena Pharmaceuticals and VIVUS Competitors in the Lucrative Anti-Obesity Drug Market

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Arena Pharmaceuticals and VIVUS

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 20, 2012) - The Biotech Industry has been soaring this year as companies -- both large and small -- have shown impressive gains. Companies focusing on the anti-obesity drug market have been gaining popularity among investors recently as there have been two drugs approved by the FDA in the past month. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Biotech Industry and provides equity research on Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) and VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS).

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According to data from the World Health Organization globally there are approximately 1.4 billion people classified as overweight, and 500 million that are obese. "By 2030, 50 to 60 percent of the populations in many countries are on target to be classified as obese," says a recent report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

"Obesity may be the most pressing health challenge facing the world today and efforts to tackle it will shape thinking by policymakers and in boardrooms around the world," said Sarbjit Nahal, equity strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. "Global obesity is a mega-investment theme for the next 25 years and beyond."

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VIVUS's Qsymia is the second anti-obesity drug approved by the FDA this year; the first was Arena Pharmaceuticals' Belviq on June 27. Trial data showed that patients on average using Qsymia were losing 10 percent of the body weight, compared to a 4 percent weight loss for Belviq.

"The majority of obese patients wanting to try drug therapy will end up seeing both drugs, regardless of which one they take first," said Simos Simeonidis, a Cowen & Co. analyst, in a recent note to clients. "This assumption, together with the large potential market opportunity, makes us believe that there is room for at least two, if not more, sizeable drugs in this space."

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