Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Shares Soar on FDA Acceptance of Weight Loss Drug NDA

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Investors are flocking to get ahold of shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) this morning after it has been announced that the company received FDA acceptance for filing of the New Drug Application (NDA) for an extended-release version of the drug Lorcaserin. Lorcaserin, which is currently marketed under the name Belviq, works by making the brain feel satisfied rather than feeling hungry.

If it is approved, the extended release formula would mean that patients could simply take one pill per day of the new Lorcaserin, in order to help them reduce their weight significantly. The drug, will be marketed as BELVIQ XR, a name that has been conditionally approved by the FDA as well.

“The filing of this application by the FDA means they have made a threshold determination that it is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review,” said Craig M. Audet, Ph.D., Arena’s Senior Vice President of Operations & Head of Global Regulatory Affairs. “This extended release formulation has the potential to offer patients once-daily dosing of lorcaserin, which can be an important addition to their chronic weight management plan.”

It should be interesting to follow the FDA process on this drug. Some feel as though there is no reason that it will be denied, so this stock could see continual gains in the coming months if all goes as hoped for.
The stock is up 5.02% or $0.12 after the positive news, hitting $2.51 per share. About 74,325 shares traded hands. ARNA has declined 43.10% since April 28, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 42.20% the S&P500.

Out of 2 analysts covering Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA), 1 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 1 “Hold”. This means 50% are positive. $4 is the highest target while $2 is the lowest. The $3 average target is 19.52% above today’s ($2.51) stock price. Arena Pharmaceuticals was the topic in 2 analyst reports since October 28, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. RBC Capital Markets maintained the stock on November 11 with “Sector Perform” rating.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.98 in Q2 2015. Its down 0.26, from 1.24 in 2015Q1. The ratio worsened, as 13 funds sold all Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. shares owned while 44 reduced positions. 21 funds bought stakes while 35 increased positions. They now own 138.25 million shares or 1.16% more from 136.66 million shares in 2015Q1.

Camber Capital Management Llc holds 2.37% of its portfolio in Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for 7.50 million shares. Deerfield Management Co owns 6.98 million shares or 1.08% of their US portfolio. Moreover, Dafna Capital Management Llc has 0.74% invested in the company for 189,000 shares. The Florida-based Lyons Wealth Management Llc. has invested 0.3% in the stock. Callan Capital Llc, a California-based fund reported 232,000 shares.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical firm focused on discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that target G protein-coupled receptors . The company has a market cap of $547.66 million. The Company’s drug, BELVIQ (lorcaserin HCl), was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for marketing in the United States. It currently has negative earnings. In addition to BELVIQ, the Company has other drug candidates and compounds at various stages of research and development.

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