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Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA): As the first company to receive FDA approval, all attention will be directed to Arena and its marketing partner Eisai as they launch the new drug, BELVIQ (lorcaserin HCl). BELVIQ is a new chemical entity (NCE) and is a selective serotonin 2C receptor agonist used for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index of 30 or more, or 27 or more in the presence of at least 1 weight related co-morbid indication (e.g. hypertension, dyslipidemia, or type 2 diabetes) paired with diet and exercise. It is believed to raise satiety and lower food consumption. Although it is similar to fenfluramine (the “fen” in fen-phen), which also targeted 2C receptors, off-target effects on the serotonin 2b receptors was the reason the weight loss drug was pulled from the market in 1997; it caused heart-valve problems (valvulopathy). Arena designed a selective 2C receptor agonist intended to overcome this issue, and in clinical trials of 1-year duration, 2.4 percent of patients who received BELVIQ and 2.0 percent of patients who received a placebo developed echocardiographic criteria for valvular regurgitation at one year, but they were not symptomatic. The drug was not tested in combination with phentermine, which is currently also approved as a short-term treatment of obesity.
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Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM): A revamped Camry sedan is sells quickly, and attracts a much younger buyer than Toyota predicted, a top executive stated on Tuesday. The top-selling car in the U.S. has been reworked for the 2012 model year making it more stylish, luxurious, and fun to drive, Bob Carter, who is Toyota’s senior vice president of automotive operations in the U.S., informed analysts and investors at the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference located in New York. Sales have increased nearly 40 percent this year to approximately 244,000 cars. This is 60,000 more than the Camry’s two closest competitors, the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. Shares of Toyota Motor Corporation are trading 0.11% lower today.
Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO): Following a 9.2 percent drop in its stock this week, from rising to $16.30 per share last Wednesday to sliding to $14.73 at close Tuesday, the negative reaction to the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s announcement that it may possibly not return a $4 billion-plus windfall from the sale of a section of its stake in China’s Alibaba to shareholders through a stock buyback or dividend was pronounced. “Marissery (like Misery) is what Yahoo shareholders are experiencing,” one institutional shareholder joked to me in an email, referring to the new CEO Marissa Mayer, whose decision appears to be a reevaluation of Yahoo’s payout promise.
Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming iPad mini seems to look like a large iPod touch, according to 9to5mac.com, citing purported schematics. The main design differentiator from the iPad is the skinnier bezel on the sides of the iPad which should make the iPad mini easier to hold. Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 0.01% higher today.
Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) director Peter Thiel, who sold over 16 million shares in the company’s IPO, allowed himself additional flexibility to sell more holdings, according to an SEC filing, according to Bloomberg. Thiel, a venture capitalist and hedge-fund manager, had proceeds from the IPO more than $630 million, and holds a stake worth over $550 million. Shares of Facebook, Inc. are trading 2.28% higher today.
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