Arena Pharmaceuticals Reports That Eisai Will Double BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl)
CIV Sales Force by December
Expansion to Approximately 400 Sales Specialists Follows Increased Coverage of
BELVIQ by Health Plans and Pharmacy Benefit Managers
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:
ARNA) today reported that Eisai Inc. will increase its BELVIQ^® sales force to
approximately 400 representatives by December 2013, doubling the size of the
sales force from when BELVIQ became available in June 2013.
The expansion of the sales force, which has commenced and follows increases in
coverage of BELVIQ by health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) since
the launch, will enable Eisai to reach approximately 65,000 physicians in the
United States, including primary care providers, endocrinologists,
cardiovascular specialists and gastrointestinal specialists. BELVIQ is
nowcovered by several prominent health plans and PBMs, including, among
others,Express Scripts (including its legacy Express Scripts and Medco
operations), Tufts, Health Alliance Plan, Excellus BCBS, Highmark BCBS, BCBS
of Michigan, BCBS of North Carolina and Healthnet (California), according to
BusinessOne Technologies, Inc. While the exact coverage for BELVIQ varies by
patient, this improved access means more patients will receive coverage
support from their health plan or PBM.
"Eisai launched BELVIQ with a focus on educating an initial group of
physicians, expanding reimbursement coverage, introducing patient support
programs and increasing patient awareness," said Jack Lief, Arena's President
and Chief Executive Officer. "We have seen increasing physician interest in
BELVIQ as an important treatment option for chronic weight management, the
payor landscape has improved and we are encouraged by the early response to
the patient support programs and recently launched patient campaign. Eisai's
efforts have led to month over month increases in BELVIQ prescriptions to
date, and we expect that the expansion of the BELVIQ sales force will help
communicate the safety and efficacy of BELVIQ to an increased number of
Lonnel Coats, Eisai Inc.'s President and Chief Executive Officer, added,
"Eisai is deeply committed to launching innovative therapies with strong
support from the payor community. The expansion of our sales force
demonstrates the success we have gained in discussing the potential value of
BELVIQ in chronic weight management within the payor community, and the
subsequent agreements we have reached with many of our payor partners. We are
in very active and productive discussions with other major payors and fully
expect the reimbursement landscape will further improve as we head into 2014."
Eisai is responsible for the marketing and distribution of BELVIQ in the
United States under its agreement with Arena.
About BELVIQ^® (lorcaserin HCl) CIV
BELVIQ (pronounced BEL-VEEK) is approved by the US Food and Drug
Administration for chronic weight management, and is available by prescription
in the United States. BELVIQ is believed to decrease food consumption and
promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain.
The exact mechanism of action is not known.
BELVIQ is indicated to be used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased
physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an
initial body mass index of:
o30 kg/m^2 or greater (obese), or
o27 kg/m^2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one
weight-related comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, dyslipidemia, type
Limitations of Use:
oThe safety and efficacy of coadministration of BELVIQ with other products
intended for weight loss including prescription drugs (e.g., phentermine),
over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations have not been established.
oThe effect of BELVIQ on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not
Important Safety Information
oPregnancy: Do not take BELVIQ if you are pregnant or planning to become
pregnant, as weight loss offers no potential benefit during pregnancy and
BELVIQ may harm your unborn baby.
oSerotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-like reactions:
Before using BELVIQ, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take,
especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or
the common cold. These medicines may cause serious or life-threatening
side effects if taken with BELVIQ. Call your doctor right away if you
experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in
mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle
twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood
pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.
oValvular heart disease: Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ have had
heart valve problems. Call your doctor right away if you experience
trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness,
fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular
heartbeat. Before taking BELVIQ, tell your doctor if you have or have had
oChanges in attention or memory: BELVIQ may slow your thinking. You should
not drive a car or operate heavy equipment until you know how BELVIQ
oMental problems: Taking too much BELVIQ may cause hallucinations, a
feeling of being high or in a very good mood, or feelings of standing
outside your body.
oDepression or thoughts of suicide: Call your doctor right away if you
notice any mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood,
behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, or if you have depression or thoughts of
oLow blood sugar: Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people taking
medicines for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin or sulfonylureas. Blood
sugar levels should be checked before and while taking BELVIQ. Changes to
diabetes medication may be needed if low blood sugar develops.
oPainful erections: If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours while
on BELVIQ, stop taking BELVIQ and call your doctor or go to the nearest
emergency room right away.
oSlow heartbeat: BELVIQ may cause your heart to beat slower.
oDecreases in blood cell count: BELVIQ may cause your red and white blood
cell counts to decrease.
oIncrease in prolactin: BELVIQ may increase the amount of a hormone called
prolactin. Tell your doctor if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky
fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.
oMost common side effects in patients without diabetes: Headache,
dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation.
oMost common side effects in patients with diabetes: Low blood sugar,
headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.
oNursing: BELVIQ should not be taken while breastfeeding.
oDrug interactions: Before taking BELVIQ, tell your doctor if you take
medicines for depression, migraines, or other medical conditions, such as:
triptans; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought
disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors,
monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or antipsychotics; cabergoline; linezolid
(an antibiotic); tramadol; dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter (OTC)
common cold/cough medicine); OTC supplements such as tryptophan or St.
John's Wort; or erectile dysfunction medicines.
BELVIQ is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or
lead to drug dependence.
For more information about BELVIQ, click here for the full US Prescribing
Information or visit www.BELVIQ.com.
Arena has granted exclusive marketing and distribution rights to Eisai Inc.
for most of North and South America, to Ildong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., for
South Korea, and to CY Biotech Company Limited for Taiwan. Arena plans to
enter into additional collaborations to commercialize BELVIQ outside of these
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and
commercializing novel drugs that target G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs,
to address unmet medical needs. BELVIQ^® (lorcaserin HCl), Arena's internally
discovered drug, is approved in the United States and is under review for
regulatory approval in additional territories. Arena's US operations are
located in San Diego, California, and its operations outside of the United
States, including its commercial manufacturing facility, are located in
Zofingen, Switzerland. For more information, visit Arena's website at
Arena Pharmaceuticals^® and Arena^® are registered service marks of Arena
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. BELVIQ^® is a registered trademark of Arena
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that
involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements
include statements about the advancement, therapeutic indication and use,
safety, efficacy, mechanism of action, regulatory review and approval, and
potential of BELVIQ; the expansion of the BELVIQ sales force, including the
number of representatives, related timing and expectations and significance;
marketing activities, including with respect to product education, awareness
and interest and patient support; reimbursement coverage of BELVIQ, including
the improvement of the coverage; rights and obligations under the marketing
and supply agreements for BELVIQ; plans to enter into additional
collaborations and the commercialization of BELVIQ in additional territories;
and Arena's focus, plans, goals, strategy, expectations, research and
development programs, and ability to discover and develop compounds and
commercialize drugs. For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may
differ materially from Arena's expectations. Factors that could cause actual
results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but
are not limited to, the following: risks related to commercializing drugs,
including regulatory, manufacturing and supply issues and the availability and
use of BELVIQ; cash and revenues generated from BELVIQ, including the impact
of competition; Arena's revenues will be based in part on estimates, judgment
and accounting policies, and incorrect estimates or disagreement regarding
estimates or accounting policies may result in changes to Arena's guidance or
previously reported results; the timing and outcome of regulatory review is
uncertain, and BELVIQ may not be approved for marketing when expected or ever
in combination with another drug, for another indication or using a different
formulation or in any other territory for any indication; regulatory decisions
in one territory may impact other regulatory decisions and Arena's business
prospects; government and commercial reimbursement and pricing decisions;
risks related to relying on collaborative arrangements; the timing and receipt
of payments and fees, if any, from collaborators; the entry into or
modification or termination of collaborative arrangements; unexpected or
unfavorable new data; nonclinical and clinical data is voluminous and
detailed, and regulatory agencies may interpret or weigh the importance of
data differently and reach different conclusions than Arena or others, request
additional information, have additional recommendations or change their
guidance or requirements before or after approval; data and other information
related to any of Arena's research and development may not meet regulatory
requirements or otherwise be sufficient for further research and development,
regulatory review or approval or continued marketing; Arena's ability to
obtain and defend patents; the timing, success and cost of Arena's research
and development; results of clinical trials and other studies are subject to
different interpretations and may not be predictive of future results;
clinical trials and other studies may not proceed at the time or in the manner
expected or at all; having adequate funds; and satisfactory resolution of
litigation or other disagreements with others. Additional factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by
Arena's forward-looking statements are disclosed in Arena's filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent
Arena's judgment as of the time of this release. Arena disclaims any intent or
obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as may be
required under applicable law.
Contact: Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Media Contact: Russo Partners
Cindy McGee, Vice President, David Schull, President
Investor Relations & Alliance Management email@example.com
858.453.7200, ext. 1479
SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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