Biopharma News: Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA)’s Update, New VIVUS, Inc. (VVUS) Deal & More

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA), VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)Arena Pharmaceuticals to Host Corporate Update and Financial Results Conference Call and Webcast on Thursday, May 2 (SacBee)
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) announced today that it will provide a corporate update and discuss first quarter 2013 financial results after the NASDAQ Global Select Market closes on Thursday, May 2, 2013. The conference call and webcast will begin at 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time (2:15 p.m. Pacific Time). …Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel drugs that target G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, to address unmet medical needs. BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl), Arena’s internally discovered drug, is approved in the United States and is under review for regulatory approval in additional territories. Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)’s US operations are located in San Diego, California, and its operations outside of the United States, including its commercial manufacturing facility, are located in Zofingen, Switzerland.

Investors Alert: Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:ARNA), Mechel OAO, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd, DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV) (SBWire)
ThePennyStockProfiler, an investment community with a special focus on updating investors with recent news on the U.S. stock market, issues news alert on the following stocks:- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) shares increased 5.85% to $8.34. The company, on April 5, announced the initiation of dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial of APD334, a novel oral drug candidate that targets the sphingosine 1-phosphate subtype 1 (S1P1) receptor for the potential treatment of autoimmune diseases. This randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled Phase 1 trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single-ascending doses of APD334 in up to 64 healthy adult volunteers.

VIVUS (VVUS) Inks Qsymia Deal with MEDCO; ‘Executing Well’ Says Analyst (StreetInsider)
This morning VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) said Qsymia was added to MEDCO national formulary in a tier-3 position with a prior authorization. Co-pay is expected to be $50 to $60. Commenting, Leerink Swann’s Marko Kozul said, “Announcement of a new reimbursement deal with MEDCO is potentially more important than the previous one inked with Express Scripts, Inc. The new MEDCO deal provides a pharmacy formulary benefit for up to 38M new lives vs. the late 4Q12 ESI deal that covered up to 26.3M lives (64.3M total). The impact of this news is to convert Qsymia (obesity) reimbursement from the non-covered to the covered position. With this news, we believe VVUS is executing well on the reimbursement front which in conjunction with the recent REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) adjustment and AACE diabetes treatment algorithm positions the company to deliver meaningful ramping revenues in 2H13.” Leerink Swann has an Outperform rating on VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) with a price target of $19-$20.

CHMP Backs VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)’ Spedra (Nasdaq)
VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) recently announced the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the approval of its drug, Spedra (avanafil) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). The positive opinion by the CHMP will be reviewed by the European Commission, which should issue a final decision in approximately two months. The positive opinion was based on data from three phase III trials REVIVE, REVIVE-Diabetes and REVIVE-RP and a year long safety study. In the US, avanafil was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Apr 2012 under the trade name Stendra for ED. The company is looking for a partner in the US.