Investors Applaud Vivus' Erectile Dysfunction Drug

Shares of Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) climbed more than 6% Wednesday after the drug developer boasted of positive results of its experimental erectile dysfunction drug, putting it one step closer to tapping a $5.5 billion market.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based pharmaceutical giant said Stendra performed significantly better than the placebo, with patients achieving erections sufficient for intercourse as early as 10 minutes after taking the 200 mg dose and 12 minutes for the 100 mg dose.

The erectile dysfunction (ED) market is expected to continue improving after reaching more than $5.5 billion in sales in 2012. Vivus says that while 52% of men between 40 and 70 struggle with ED, a growing number are unhappy with the market's current offerings.

"The recommendations instruct patients to take the medication and wait one to two hours prior to sexual activity or to take the medication daily," said Peter Tam, president of Vivus. "Having a shorter waiting time prior to sexual activity in the label, if approved, would provide Stendra a differentiated profile that is desired by many patients and prescribers."

The drug maker intends to file for an amendment to both the FDA approval and the pending EMA application to include the results of the latest study. If approved, Stendra, known as Spedra in the European Union, will be the only PDES inhibitor able to make the speedy claim.

Shares of Vivus in recent trade were up about 6% to $14.59.