Not satisfied with the way its new purchase Auxilium had handled Stendra marketing, Endo plans to relaunch the erectile dysfunction med, which it sells in partnership with Vivus. Endo is doubling the size of the Stendra salesforce, rolling out a new DTC effort, and keeping a close eye on inventory levels, which had built up too much for its taste.
Upon buying up Auxilium--which markets Vivus' erectile dysfunction drug Stendra--Endo decided wholesale inventory levels weren't where they ought to be. Its solution? A relaunch of the drug, complete with a new salesforce and DTC efforts.
No drugmaker wants a generic challenger for a product it relies on--and certainly not two generics challengers. But in the case of Vivus, which has sued Actavis and now Teva over patent infringement for weight-loss drug Qsymia, the generic interest could be an "incremental positive," one analyst believes.
Critics say Vivus has lacked the marketing muscle to build up its weight-loss med Qsymia ever since it chose to launch without a large commercial partner. And now, the company has chosen to shrink its salesforce by a third, with about 50 reps headed for the door.
Companies have been studying Stendra for some sort of competitive edge. Now, they may have found one: The FDA backed the ED pill as a fast-acting treatment, taken 15 minutes before sex. Previously, the directions prescribed a 30-minute lead time.
Weak Qsymia sales have been the all-important issue for Vivus since the highly anticipated obesity therapy stumbled out of the gate, inspiring an all-out proxy war that wreaked havoc on the company's boardroom. And the California company isn't about to cede what market share it does have to Actavis--at least, not without a fight.
Vivus has been through a lot over the past year, including an all-out proxy war, a myriad of exec exits and, most recently, a generic threat from Actavis to its flailing obesity drug Qsymia. And now? It appears to have an interested buyer, according to a regulatory filing.
After a botched launch for obesity drug Qsymia, a bitter proxy war, a mass exodus of its directors and management and a continued sales struggle, the last thing Vivus needs is a generic threat. But thanks to Actavis, that's exactly what it's getting.
One pre-First Manhattan Co.-settlement Vivus director standing for re-election at the company's annual meeting, that is. The Mountain View, CA-based drugmaker announced Tuesday in a regulatory filing that J. Martin Carroll, Mark Logan and Robert Wilson would not seek to retain their board positions.
Auxilium is marketing Vivus' new erectile dysfunction pill Stendra with a jazzy, suggestive promo video during March Madness, when millions of men are glued to the games.