Drug-maker VIVUS, Inc.(NASDAQ:VVUS), on Thursday reported higher than expected losses leading to one-fifth depreciation in its stock price.
The company, which makes the anti-obesity drug Qsymia, said that net loss for the quarter widened to $40.4 million, or 40 cents a share, from $8.6 million, or 10 cents, a year earlier.
Analysts had expected a loss of 32 cents.
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Revenue was $41,000, the amount received from pharmacies that had delivered the drug to patients, Vivus said.
Qsymia was approved y the US Food and Drug Administration in July this year, one of the two obesity drugs to be approved in the country in more than a decade.
However, according to Vivus, patients are abandoning prescriptions at the pharmacy on discovering they must pay a large portion of the cost out-of-pocket.
Vivus has taken the unusual strategy of getting the drug prescribed by speciality doctors rather than primary-care general physicians.
Shares of VVUS were down about 7% in yesterday’s session and now up 3.50%.
Meanwhile Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:ARNA), which has launched rival anti-obesity drug Belviq, reported lower-than-estimated losses for the third quarter benefiting from lower research and development costs.
Arena reported losses of $15.5 million, or 7 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. In the third quarter of 2011 Arena lost $22.7 million, or 16 cents per share.
Its revenue declined to $1.5 million from $3.5 million, but most costs declined and the company booked a gain on revaluing derivatives and recorded interest income.
Analysts were forecasting a larger loss of 9 cents per share and $2.4 million in revenue.
Shares of the company are up 6% in today’s session, paring all its losses earlier this week.