Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA), Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB): More Than an Obesity Drug Company

Page 1 of 2

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)‘ shareholders — and those who short the stock, for that matter — are anxiously awaiting the launch of the company’s obesity drug Belviq. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug back in June, but the biotech and its marketing partner Eisai can’t launch until the Drug Enforcement Agency decides its potential for abuse.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)

Meanwhile, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) isn’t sitting around doing nothing. Earlier this month, the company said it’s starting a phase 1 trial testing a new drug, APD334, in healthy adult volunteers. A phase 1 trial isn’t going to produce data that will move the share price, but it’s a necessary step toward that end.

APD334 targets the sphingosine 1-phosphate subtype 1 receptor, which is involved in numerous autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. All three diseases are large markets with multiple blockbuster drugs treating them. Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) , for instance, has two multiple sclerosis drugs — Avonex and Tysabri — that are both blockbusters. AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)‘s Humira, which treats both psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, posted sales of more than $9.2 billion last year.

Blockbuster obesity drugs have been a long time coming. If APD334 works in phase 2 and phase 3 trials, it’s a clearer pathway to billion-dollar annual sales than the huge-but-unproven obesity market.

The rest of the pipeline
APD334 isn’t the only drug Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) is working on. The company is focused on G protein-coupled receptors, which are involved in a wide variety of diseases, including 5-HT2C that Belviq targets and the S1P1 receptor that APD334 targets.

APD811, which targets the prostacyclin receptor, is being tested for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, or high blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs. The company has completed phase 1 dosing of ADP811 in healthy volunteers, but plans to run another cohort of subjects to get the dose right before initiating a phase 2 trial.

Temanogrel is in the same boat. Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) has already run one phase 1 trial, but plans to run another phase 1 trial because the maximum tolerated dose wasn’t reached in the first trial. Arena has licensed temanogrel to Ildong Pharmaceutical, which is responsible for funding the second phase 1 trial and the phase 2a trial in patients with serious thrombotic diseases including heart attacks, acute coronary syndrome, and stroke.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) also has a few preclinical compounds targeting other G protein-coupled receptors.

Progress, but…
I’m impressed with Arena’s progress. Compare it to a company like Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONXX), which for years insisted that Nexavar was sufficient for survival, only to eventually change its tune and acquire an external pipeline.

Page 1 of 2
Loading Comments...