Yes, they are and waiting for something to change while you are spending money at an alarming rate is pure folly. My greatest fear that no BP was seriously interested in partnering with Vvus and that we would get a completely underwhelming partnership is much more likely now ( assuming Vvus doesn't in desperation decide to go it alone) than ever before. If they cant pull the rabbit out of the hat in the next few weeks, the street and analysts will pummel this stock and the 5 and 6 dollar price targets that some of them assigned to Vvus (which not long ago I was laughing about) will be realized. What concerns me about Vvus is not its products, but realizing that it is a company and companies have to MAKE MONEY!! We aren't making any (completely the opposite) and that with the continued passage of time, our bargaining position is getting weaker by the day. If this company doesn't produce a strategic deal soon, we are, I fear, destined to be another feckless Arna. There is still time, but precious little of it, to get the good ship Vvus underway. The inability of Vvus to reach some type of deal is maddening and it remains almost inexplicable as well.
The problem with Vvus is indeed a lack of a DTC campaign, and more specifically an intensive TV and Radio campaign. I have for months thought that since Vvus wasn't taking this vital approach that they had a deal lined up and were getting the fine points polished. Clearly I was in error. Zook leaving clearly wasn't for the reason stated either. I now feel that we are in real trouble. We are as Cowen Brothers several weeks ago stated needing a partner ASAP. Yet we don't have one and should have had a partner or buyout months ago (Vvus has had a special committee working on this since at least early May). I think we have arrived at the point that any partnership is likely completely underwhelming and so much so that Vvus is reluctant to pull the trigger on it because our pps would go down and not up on such a deal. With multiple BPs involved all needing new pipeline drugs, the fact that Vvus cant get an acceptable deal or even any deal after all these many months as was the top priority as stated even by FMC back in the spring/early summer proxy fight tells the tale. Now our tremendous expenditures or leaving us in the lurch and Vvus continues to just sit and decline to take definitive action. I can only hope I am wrong and that some type of strategic outcome reveals itself soon. This is the most wasted great opportunity I have seen fumbled in my investing career and attempting to apply reason and logic concerning Vvus has been an exercise in futility so far.
Perhaps I wasn't clear in my comments. I mentioned Phase II results and should have indicated that since I have strong doubts that anything good was obtained in the trial, that they delay in reporting the results should not have a delay in our obtaining a strategic deal and little effect other than to perhaps shake the confidence of some retail investors. I still, as you do, think we will get a deal in the next month or two, but I worry about what kind of deal it will be. A good to lucrative partnership, a buyout, or an underwhelming deal that sees us split profits 70-80 percent to 20 to 30 percent for us. With the continued passage of time I fear the underwhelming deal. That said, Vvus could still pull off a hugely successful surprise deal, but the odds slowly shift, I think, with the passage of time. We shall see. Clearly the lack of pursuit of a DTC campaign strongly argues that Vvus remains confident in some type of strategic deal (and soon) that relives it of having to manage a DTC Blitz. So we could all still be celebrating booth the arrival of a New Year and a rocket shot up with Vvus. Lets hope it plays out this way.
Looks like maybe a fund added a bit, volume spiked less than 200,000 shares and options didn't react at all. Probably therefore is just a small blip in todays trading.
I am unable to find a valid reason for the delay in reaching a strategic deal (partnership or buyout) that makes any sense at this point. Rereading Cowen Brothers comments from last week sums it up precisely "Vvus continues to spend way too much money and needs to find a partner ASAP". I am forced to consider that Vvus cant find a deal that is at all palatable or we should have had a deal in place by now. Additionally, the request for a delay for Phase II Alzheimers test result argues that the results weren't good and that Vvus doesn't want to #$%$ retail investors while we are just barely able to hold our pps above Arna. I hope I am wrong but I cant help but be concerned and think that as we drift towards the New Year without any deal reached, we are terribly vulnerable if we get any type of pullback in the market. All that said, I am still long but angry that Vvus has been actively seeking a partner since at least May and we don't have anything to show for it as of yet. I just hope we don't see those 5 and 6 buck price targets some brokerages have assigned to us.
I should think its due to the fact that a partnership/buyout has widely been expected for some time now. Likely booth longs,shors are buying the calls for this possible outcome. Shorts to protect themselves if it is a buyout or lucrative partnership and longs as a cheap way to cash in if we get a couple of buck pop on a partnership. We need, however, to beware of the underwhelming partnership that could be reached if Vvus has been allowing us and hoping that we retail investors would,incorrectly interpret "strong competitive interest" to mean likely realization of a good to lucrative partnership. Either Vvus has been honest and above board, or we are being suckered and played, the truth will come out with the wash. Still, it is apparent that some have at least some confidence that the issue will be decided by mid January. As always, I wish the best of luck to my fellow longs.
I thought that perhaps some wishful thinking and hoping on the possiblility of good test results and the fact that Vvus has been severely beaten down as well, combined to cause a fund or two to either begin or increase their position modestly. IF anyone had any real knowledge of test results and they were positive, Vvus would have EXPLODED!! upward( or maybe not if it was Vvus insiders, insiders family and friends who were loading up before results were put out to we hapless retail inverstors I have actually seen that happen several times first hand) I still am of the opinion that we shouldn't hope for much from the test results, by if they were to be positive what a HUGE game changer they would be.
NOTHING could make me happier than good test results, its just that I think the odds are very high against that. Still, someone is likely to eventually have success and who knows, maybe fate will throw us a bone.
Although I am expecting failure in this Phase II study, should it be a success , it would be a total game changer for Vvus. That said, the odds are better for me winning the Boston Marathon than good results, but hey fate is a funny thing!
(Part 2) .... it can advertise with a prior still existing agreement with the FDA that we investors have never been made privy to. I find it hard to believe that Vvus is going to just set still and burn 50 million a quarter because it cant figure out what it needs to do to survive and/or flourish. If it fails to take the most obvious and immediate road out of our current mess, a buyout at somewhat firesale prices, whatever does come afterwards is going to be completely unpalatable. All may not be as bad as it seems however! Since I have been consistently wrong about Vvus, the odds actually favor Vvus announcing either a lucrative partnership or a buyout with a pleasing purchase price in order to make a monkeys uncle out of me yet again. . In closing, I would also note that I also did not buy the hogwash put out in the CC that talks were in such a delicate state that they couldn't be commented upon. The long and short of it is simply this, either Vvus has been straight with us and is preparing to announce a good partnership or acceptable buyout (20-27 pps) before the end of the year or we have been suckered and fleeced as well. I do agree with prior timelines established by ML, that the end of this year is the max time for Vvus to still be credible in reaching some meaningful strategic resolution. I wish my fellow longs the best of luck in this trying and possibly harrowing time. P. S. I may drop in to the board from time to time but will not do so regularly because if not happens strategically before the end of the year, future deliberations and conjecture will have been essentially rendered meaningless in my opinion.
Well, I have been consistently wrong on Vvus for the past couple of years except when I bet on a favorable panel outcome with the FDA. Time has indeed, just as I wrote it would (and sorry I was right) on a number of occasions, run out for Vvus in the minds of both funds and retail investors. Vvus has been literally cut in half from where we were just back in mid-July. The street doesn't believe the Vvus management narrative anymore and thinks it should already have produced a partnership if their was a viable deal to be had among the BP's. There are but two possible outcomes now. (1) Partnership. With the patent extension to be announced likely next week and therefore in hand, Vvus quickly announces a decent partnership. I personally, despite three Vvus CEO's telling us about strong competitive interest in partnering, have little hope for this outcome materializing now, especially with the pps well below pre-panel approval levels leaving us with little bargaining leverage. I think a decent partnership at this point in time gives us no more than 2-3 points and so we would be lucky to regain the 11ish level. Vvus could well settle for a completely underwhelming partnership at this juncture wihich makes us as worthless as Arna and likely results in our pps after a modest and short lived 1-1.5 buck pop being quite Arna like, say mid-6-7s at least for the intermediate future. (2) Buyout. Unfortunately a buyout now would only likely be 15-22 with 15-18 more probable. If we cant drive a decent to good partnership, the buyout scenario isn't likely to be thrilling either. I continue to set dumbfounded at Vvus for not opting for an immediate and intense DTC campaign to provide leverage in either partnership or buyout talks unless Vvus has all along intended (again as I have said on dozens of occasions) to pursue the buyout strategy. The only other possibility is that Vvus has previously agreed to severely limit itself in what and how it can advertise with a (Part 1)
(Part 4) Although my above comments are, I feel, a strong defense of my view of that a buyout is the most likely outcome now and why, I freely acknowledge that I could be way wrong. It is still quite possible that we have been played ourselves as marks by FMC and skillfully mislead into thinking Vvus was a better bet and play that it was or will be. Most of us longs are likely frustrated and perhaps upset with the seemingly endless drama and wait for some kind of strategic resolution in Vvus. I now I sure as heck am. I just believe it most unlikely that both Wilson and his subsequent thirty second replacement have lied when they reference " strong competitive interest" in Vvus, Wilson with the comment of more BP's than the fingers on one hand (more than 5) and Fischer with last weeks comments that partnership talks have not stalled and are proceeding. Also, were and are all the analysts who still have 17 and up price targets despite meager script adoption wrong?? These are but a very few of the subtle things that I could cite that make me think that we are still going to come out of this soon just fine. I could be wrong but I don't think so and I remain fully convinced that FMC is NOT going to tolerate losing either its money or trapped in Vvus and saddled with the distraction of running Vvus for long. Anyone averaged anywhere close to FMC's position will be just fine in my view. I don't think we will have long to wait. I also have decided that I will likely refrain from posting further until after the jury comes in on Vvus and if the verdict isn't favorable slink out of this board or reappear if Vvus pulls the rabbit out of the hat and try and motivate my fellow longs for a Vvus Las Vegas trip. Further jawing by me isn't warranted because if I am right we will soon have a good outcome and if wrong, further outcome projections on my part serve no worthwhile purpose. Time for us to see what we shall see. Good luck to all my fellow longs!!
(Part 3) Well, we must recognize that Fischer did not provide direct comment on a likely time line for a partnership with ML. Maybe that's because Fischer is not playing this for a partnership. If Fischer and FMC are putting the final touches on a buyout deal what tack would a smart FMC with its exchange with ML take?? Well I for one would do exactly what Fischer did, talk of hoping for a partner without any real detail revealed, vaguely imply the go it alone option as evidenced by a reference to possibly increasing, on its own dime, the number of sales reps and generally allow ML to come away with the slant that FMC just really is not sure exactly what they are going to do now. Then I would spring a buyout announcement one morning soon and trap and BBQ all the shorts who have piled into Vvus both over time and recently. This would add several dollars on top of whatever sell price I had agreed to. Further, by careful wording and avoiding actionable comments while having "played" ML as an unwitting but important pawn piece, I avoid civil action and a scrap with the SEC. Diabolical and VERY smart!
So, how sure am I of a buyout?? I think it is still the most likely outcome at this point ( maybe 65%) followed by a good to lucrative partnership (say 30%) and finally an underwhelming partnership if no one is truly "competitvely" interested ( 5%). At this juncture, I think FMC would sooner sell VVus for 14-15 bucks rather than settle for an underwhelming partnership which would tie up its money for many months and perhaps longer. I think that whether FMC is way smart or brain dead, we could look for a clue as to how to answer that question from just little more than a week ago when another fund manager said he strongly supports and has confidence in FMC and that details would soon be forth coming to reassure Vvus investors. You mean like the weak, tepid, metrics Vvus just put out?? NO, sports fans!! Do the math!! Could I be WAY wrong, YES !! Place your bets, I have.!
(Part 2) So, the other side of the coin in our deliberation on Vvus is what positive could be happening and when will we know. I submit, and I know that this will surprise no one, that we are likely to get a buyout within the next month. Tired of me suggesting this as the most likely outcome for Vvus?? Well, even I must answer that question with a resounding "Yes !! " Still, I must once again man the ramparts and defend my buyout theory as the final outcome for Vvus. If in the next several weeks nothing materializes, I shall strike my flag, exit the Vvus board, and proceed to lick my wounds while contemplating changing my email name so that I will not be haunted by barbs from both longs and shorts which I would, to be sure, richly deserve. So onward with another round of my rousing buyout song with fresh refrains highlighting and accounting for current events in Vvus. (1) Vvus should have undertaken a DTC campaign in July if it's goal was to obtain a partner in order to drive share price, the all important scripts, revenue and obtain vital leverage in partnership talks. It should have undertaken this with the confidence that an aggressive and perhaps expensive DTC campaign resulting in a lucrative partnership would easily be offset with being able to have its cost essentially included in the upfront customary payment that partnered biotech companies traditionally receive. Yet it did not and has not, why?? (2) The Diabetes Study results have just been released and the Phase II results aren't currently released in so far as we know. Would Vvus proceed with a buyout, or partnership for that matter, without waiting to have the results impact a strategic deal's final value?? NO!! So we have a reason that is self evident why nothing has happened strategically up to the present. (3) To be sure, Vvus could be maneuvering for a partnership but in keeping with our buyout motif how do we account for the interpretation of direction the ML just put out?? (Part 3)
A large crowd of longs on this board are quite beside themselves over interpretations of what understanding ML came away with from Fischer. There are but two possibilities on what is going on with Vvus when all factors have been reduced to their lowest common denominator. First, the fate most longs are sweating, that we have a lemon in the form of Vvus and neither the Wilson Regime or FMC know what to do with it to turn it into lemonade. Really?? We have revenue from Stendra that will be coming in for sometime to come. We have Q which combined with an aggressive DTC Blitz could triple or quadruple scripts in relative short order. We have a very favorable Diabetes study that gives strong indication of Q as a prime treatment in the effort to combat diabetes which is a very lucrative market indeed.. We currently are awaiting results on Phase II Alzheimers outcome and although I am confident that the results will likely prove disappointing, we could still be shocked that they warrant Phase III trials. So what is FMC to do but sit wringing its hands in confusion and "angst" hoping for a partner who isn't interested or maybe putting more sales reps out to visit doctors even though that has yet to produce profitable results. Poor Vvus has delayed a DTC Blitz since July because it was sure that a partner would be forth coming to handle the DTC Blitz and hasn't and now we are just going to sit and wait and hope something good still comes to save the day?? Well, that could indeed be the case if FMC was brain dead. I view FMC as predatory, greedy, self serving and looking out entirely for themselves and unconcerned or caring about retail investors but "STUPID"?? Not by a long shot!! FMC has plenty of its own money on the line somewhere around the mid 12's and it hasn't undertaken a Proxy fight and jumped through assorted hoops to gain control of Vvus to end up of losing 20+% on its investment. I don't think so but maybe I am way wrong. (Part 1)
You are correct that a DTC campaign is vital for Vvus to survive and thrive. Vvus has known this for months and could have launched the campaign in July. They haven't for a reason. I think we get a buyout within the next 30 days and Vvus therefore isn't focused on the DTC effort. I think if it was hoping for a partnership, it would have already had a DTC in place to drive scripts and therefore bargaining leverage. So, like you, I am currently upset with Vvus but think we will be bought out soon from anywhere 17-27 with 20-25 more likely. Just my opinion.
Just go back from lunch (many on this board say I have always been out to lunch) and am appreciative of your efforts at giving us something to mull over while we are forced to wait for Vvus to reveal what strategic track it has chosen to embark upon. Fischer recently said that BP's werent really concerned about patent issues ( they all have a bunch of well informed lawyers as well, but clearly the recent patent news was still very reassuring). Insurance coverage could still be a somewhat limiting factor but I think the delay has been the Diabetes Study (now revealed and quite favorable) and the Phase II results still apparently pending. I still think that Vvus will move quickly now considering that it cant afford to burn cash at the present rate and to achieve no more than it is currently achieving when either a partnership or a buyout solves the problem. I think we are still likely this month but before Turkey Day to know what is what with Vvus. Assuming management hasn't been lying to us, competitive talks indicate that more than on BP is interested (Wilson said more than there were fingers on one hand, remember??) With the Diabetes Study results and irregardless of Phase II results, I think we still pull off an acceptable buyout or a partnership. I still think we get a buyout, and that the buyout is north of 20 and likely between 22-27 with 22-25 more probable. That said, I always come back to one inescapable fact when I begin to doubt my Vvus purchase or analysis: There are a number of BP's who would like Q, Q is the only unfettered obesity weight drug available currently, it works well and it is in a 5+billion dollar market (at least) crowded with Snake Oil products marketed in print, radio, and tv incessantly. How can we not win with Vvus?? Just my opinion and I may have been wrong at least on one other occasion in my life, I am just not sure.