(By Balachander) VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) shares soared in Monday early trade after the biopharmaceutical company disclosed a jump in prescriptions shipped for weight-loss drug Qsymia.
The company said Qsymia prescriptions shipped was 12,978 for the four-weeks ended Dec. 21, up 67.5 percent from 7,749 in the comparable period ending Nov.23.
Qsymia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2012, with sales launched on September 17.
In the four-week period ended Oct. 26, Qsymia prescriptions shipped was 5,394, a regulatory filing showed.
For the third quarter Sept. 30, the company posted a net loss of $40.4 million or 40 cents a share, compared with a loss of $8.6 million or 10 cents a share in the same period last year. Net product revenue from prescriptions shipped was $41,000.
Health insurer Aetna (NYSE: AET) had late last year decided to provide coverage for Qsymia.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week between $9.86 and $31.21, traded 9.67 percent higher at $15.07 at 10.37 am ET on Monday.