Nine of 16 biotechs and pharmas reporting earnings were down last week. While not yet profitable, Vivus Inc. (VVUS) fell 24%, or about $350 million in market value, after reporting that it shipped 656 prescriptions of newly launched obesity drug Qsymia in the quarter for net revenues of $41,000, missing the Street's estimate of $310,000. The phentermine and topiramate combination product was launched on Sept. 17 in the U.S. On the conference call, Vivus said 30% of pending prescriptions are "abandoned by patients due to the cash outlay" for the drug. The company also said payers are covering about one-in-five prescriptions, with an average co-payment of $62. Vivus said it continues to focus on obtaining payer coverage and will focus on other "tactical innovative programs" to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients (see "Weighting Game," A8).

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA), which last week granted Ildong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. South Korean rights to its obesity candidate Belviq lorcaserin, was up 7%. Arena plans to launch Belviq in the U.S. early next year. Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX), which has its obesity product Contrave naltrexone/bupropion in Phase III testing, fell 17% on the week. Bruker Corp. (NASDAQ:BRKR) was up 10% after beating the Street's EPS and revenue estimates, while Endo Health Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:ENDP), Genomic Health Inc. (NASDAQ:GHDX) and SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:SCLN) all fell more than 10% after missing consensus top-line estimates. (A) Fiscal 1Q earnings; Mcap in $M