Vivus loss exceeds estimates on Qsymia costs

Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:37pm EDT

(Reuters) - Vivus Inc (VVUS.O), whose drug Qsymia recently became the second obesity pill to get U.S. approval in more than a decade, reported a larger-than-expected second-quarter loss, as it spent more ahead of marketing the newly-approved product.

General and administrative expenses, which reflect pre-launch activity for Qsymia, rose more than 190 percent to $15.4 million in the April-June period.

Net loss widened to $24.0 million, or 24 cents per share, from $16.2 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 23 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Mountain View, California-based biopharmaceutical company did not report revenue as it does not currently sell any drug.

Vivus has said it plans to begin marketing Qsymia in the United States from the fourth quarter.

The company had cash, cash equivalents and available-for-sale securities of $310.4 million at the end of June, down from $333.4 million at the end of May.

Vivus shares, which are up 24 percent since an FDA panel in February favored Qsymia's approval, closed at $23.18 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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