Active Biotech Stocks: Medivation & Vivus

Biotech stock market news

Here we take a close look at two upcoming Biotech Stocks which have dominated majority of the news in the Biotech Segment. Xtandi could very well be a game-changer for Medivation. Vivus posted extremely postive results off late but there are reasons to worry if you are an investor of Vivus. Let’s take a closer look at the three stocks.

Medivation gained 8.5% even though its first quarter results lagged expectations. The main reason behind the positive sentiment was prostate cancer drug, Xtandi’s, strong performance. Xtandi’s performance helped the company cut loss by half compared to the year-ago period. Moreover, the company raised its guidance for Xtandi which is encouraging – Medivation’s initial guidance provided on the fourth quarter call had been disappointing.

The prostate cancer market represents huge commercial potential and Medivation has consistently presented impressive data on Xtandi. Earlier last week, the FDA granted priority review to Xtandi for the treatment of chemo-naïve patients. This means a response will be out by Sep 18.

Vivus posts Positive Results

Vivus’ shares were up 7.2% on the company’s better-than-expected first quarter results. However, a closer look at results show that the revenue beat was mainly driven by license and milestone payments. Although anti-obesity pill Qsymia posted significantly higher year-over-year sales, scrips were down sequentially. This is concerning. Vivus is yet to find a partner for Qsymia, unlike other companies with anti-obesity drugs/candidates like Arena and Orexigen. In fact, Arena’s partner, Eisai, is going all out in supporting the promotion of their obesity treatment, Belviq – the company is increasing the sales force for Belviq by 50% to about 600.

This is triple the size of the original sales force when Belviq had been launched. The sales force addition means that now about 90k physicians in the U.S. can be targeted-almost four times the physician coverage since launch. Meanwhile, competition in the obesity market could well increase this year with the FDA expected to deliver a decision regarding Orexigen’s NB32 (formerly known as Contrave) by Jun 10.

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Biotech Financial News

While nothing specific is lined up, stay tuned for the usual pipeline and regulatory updates. Moreover, with AbbVie upping its offer for Shire, these two companies will be in the news as investors mull the renewed offer. Earnings updates should also start trickling in over the next few days.

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