Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)’s Belviq Sales Show A Marginal Increase
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)’s and its marketing partner Eisai Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:ESALY)’s lead candidate, Belviq is the first FDA approved drug to treat obesity in about past ten years and is presently approved only in the U.S. Talking about global markets, the companies have filed for regulatory approvals in Canada, Mexico and Switzerland and planning to file soon in Brazil. Arena has partnered with local firms, Ildong Pharmaceuticals in South Korea and CY Biotech in Taiwan for seeking regulatory filing in those countries.
The Chief Executive Officer at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Jack Lief mentioned that the Belviq caters to a large untapped market
where just around 2% of obese patients are presently receiving any drug therapy. The Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Eisai, Gary Palmer commented that the obesity market is currently underdeveloped resembling where the cholesterol market was about 15 to 20 years before.
Just after its launch about five months ago, Belviq reported casino the sales of just below 4,300 during the 19th week, according to unadjusted IMS health data. This represents around 8% week over week sales increase. Earlier this month Arena announced to double its sales force by this year end for its anti-obesity drug Belviq. With
regards to sales, the companies considers the most important milestone is the recognition by payers, employers as well as the PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Management) including Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) and other insurer groups like Tufts and the
Health Alliance Plan.
This recognition is of paramount importance as it came despite limited efficacy demonstrated by Belviq in clinical trials where it helped patients lose only about 5% of their body weight, in combination with exercise and dietary modifications.CDC estimated roughly $147 billion as the medical care costs related to obesity during 2008, and yet it does not include productivity costs or absenteeism due to chronic illness. The employers have started realizing that obesity in the workforce can adversely affect the productivity.