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Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA): An Obesity Drug Stock to Fatten your Portfolio?

Current treatments for PH, or pulmonary arterial hypertension, must be frequently injected or inhaled, but Arena’s working on a once-a-day pill to do the same job. More clinical trial results from the drug are expected later this year. According to GlobalData, thepulmonary arterial hypertensionmarket is forecast to grow at 5% compounded annually over the next six years. It will be a $3.6 billion market by 2015.

Temanogrel, another Arena drug under development, helps to treat and prevent blood clots by blocking one of the ways they form in the body.  is a drug is used to treat thrombotic diseases, which includes myocardial infarction or stroke. 1.5 million Americans suffered from myocardial infarction, and the millions that survive it could use this drug.

The company’s also working on a treatment for autoimmune diseases, which is now in a Phase 1 trial. Nearly 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases.

Financial analysis

A strong cash balance is a plus for drug developers, and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) is no exception. The company had $136 million in cash, as at March 31, 2013. The balance is $201 million when the Eisai milestone payment is included.

Foolish Bottom Line

Eisai will have BELVIQ at 20,000 pharmacies. 30 days after the launch, Eisai also plans on having 20,000 physicians stocked with the drug. The doctors include endocrinologists and cardiologists. The highly specialized channels will help the drug reach the right patient targets.

The initial launch is not expected by markets to be a success, but the markets are wrong. Eisai is a highly competent partner for Arena, and as markets recognize this, the share price will appreciate considerably.

The article An Obesity Drug Stock to Fatten your Portfolio? originally appeared on and is written by Chris Lau.

Chris Lau has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Chris is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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