(By Balachander) VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) said a study concluded its weight-loss drug Qsymia significantly improved multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors, and its shares jumped 6.11 percent in premarket trading on Friday.
The biopharmaceutical company said patients with hypertension or high cholesterol treated with Qsymia for one year experienced significant weight loss and clinically meaningful improvements in their underlying cardiovascular risk factors.
Qsymia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2012, with sales launched on September 17.
In the study, the company said, Qsymia produced significantly greater dose-related mean percentage weight loss compared with placebo in the subgroups of participants with dyslipidemia and those with hypertension.
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The improvements were significantly greater among patients who lost 10% or more of their starting weight, VIVUS said.
In the four-week period ended Oct. 26, Qsymia prescriptions shipped was 5,394, a regulatory filing showed.
Health insurer Aetna (NYSE: AET) had late last year decided to provide coverage for Qsymia.
Obesity is a chronic condition defined by having excess body fat. According to the World Health Organization and CDC, more than 500 million people worldwide and roughly one-third of American adults are obese.
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The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week between $9.86 and $31.21, closed at $12.11 on Thursday.