Healthcare Industry News: Reliant Pharmaceuticals
News Release - April 20, 2012
VIVUS Appoints Ernest Mario, Ph.D. to the Board of DirectorsMOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 20, 2012 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS ) announced today that the Company's Board of Directors has appointed Ernest Mario, Ph.D. to serve on the Board of Directors. Dr. Mario has 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Mario is a former Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of Glaxo Holdings plc, a former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ALZA Corporation prior to the sale to Johnson & Johnson and was Chairman and Chief Executive of Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He currently serves as a Director of Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX ), Celgene Biopharmaceutical (Nasdaq:CELG ) and Capnia, Inc., a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company.
"Dr. Mario brings to VIVUS in his service as a director, significant executive leadership experience, with successful global pharmaceutical companies, as well as his membership on public company boards," commented Leland Wilson, chief executive officer of VIVIS. "He also has extensive experience in product launches, building successful brands, partnering and business strategy."
Dr. Mario is Chairman of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education and serves as an advisor to The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. Dr. Mario is the recipient of the 2007 Remington Honor Medal, which is the highest recognition given by the American Pharmacists Association.
VIVUS is a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to address obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes and male sexual health. The company's lead investigational product in clinical development, Qnexa, has completed phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of obesity and is currently being considered for approval by US and EU regulators. VIVUS received a Complete Response Letter, or CRL, to the initial Qnexa NDA on October 28, 2010. VIVUS resubmitted the Qnexa NDA in October 2011, which has a FDA action date of July 17, 2012. On February 22, 2012, in a 20-to-2 vote, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended that Qnexa be granted marketing approval by the FDA for the treatment of obesity in adults. In January 2012, we received the 180-day LOI from the CHMP. Qnexa is also in phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. In the area of sexual health, VIVUS has submitted an NDA for avanafil, a PDE5 inhibitor being studied for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, with an FDA action date of April 29, 2012. For more information about the company, please visit www.vivus.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "forecast," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "likely," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "opportunity" and "should," among others. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the response from the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, to our resubmission of the New Drug Application, or NDA, for Qnexa for the treatment of obesity, including weight loss and maintenance of weight loss, recommended for obese patients (BMI >=30 kg/m2), or overweight patients (BMI >=27 kg/m2) with weight-related co-morbidities such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, with a contraindication that excludes the use of Qnexa by women who are pregnant; the timing and final results of the retrospective observational study of fetal outcomes in infants born to mothers exposed to topiramate during pregnancy, or FORTRESS; the reliability of the electronic medical claims healthcare databases used in FORTRESS; the FDA's interpretation of and agreement with the information VIVUS submitted relating to teratogenicity and cardiovascular safety; that we may be required to provide further analysis of clinical trial data; our response to questions and requests for additional information including additional pre-clinical or clinical studies from the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, and the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, of the Marketing Authorization Application, or MAA, for Qnexa; the FDA's interpretation of the results of external studies to assess the teratogenic risk of topiramate; the impact of the results of the REMS or cardiovascular outcomes for obesity advisory committee meetings; whether or not the FDA chooses to follow the recommendation of the second advisory committee in its vote in favor of approval of Qnexa; the impact, if any, of the agreement and initiation by one of our competitors with an obesity compound to conduct or complete a cardiovascular outcomes study pre-approval; the impact on future sales based on specific indication and contraindications contained in the label and extent of the REMS and distribution system and patient access program for Qnexa, if approved; the FDA's response to the NDA filed for avanafil; our ability to successfully commercialize or establish a marketing partnership for avanafil or our partner's ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval to manufacture and adequately supply avanafil for commercial use; our history of losses and variable quarterly results; substantial competition; risks related to the failure to protect our intellectual property and litigation in which we may become involved; uncertainties of government or third party payer reimbursement; our reliance on sole source suppliers; our limited sales and marketing and manufacturing capabilities; our reliance on third parties and our collaborative partners; failure to continue to develop innovative investigational drug candidates and drugs; risks related to the failure to obtain FDA or foreign authority clearances or approvals and noncompliance with FDA or foreign authority regulations; our ability to demonstrate through clinical testing the safety and effectiveness of our investigational drug candidates; the timing of initiation and completion of clinical trials and submissions to the FDA or foreign authorities; the volatility and liquidity of the financial markets; our liquidity and capital resources; our ability to successfully create a commercial infrastructure in the United States to launch Qnexa; and our expected future revenues, operations and expenditures. As with any pharmaceutical in development, there are significant risks in the development, the regulatory approval, and commercialization of new products. There are no guarantees that our response to the FDA's CRL or CHMP's 180-day list of outstanding issues, the FDA's requests stemming from the end-of-review meeting or the results of the FORTRESS study and subsequent meetings and communications will be sufficient to satisfy the FDA or CHMP's safety concerns, that the FDA or foreign authorities will not require us to conduct any additional prospective studies or retrospective observational studies, or that any product will receive regulatory approval for any indication or prove to be commercially successful. VIVUS does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Investors should read the risk factors set forth in VIVUS' Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2011, and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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