Medicines Co. sells off cardiovascular drugs to Italy's Chiesi
- New Jersey-based drugmaker The Medicines Company will sell several cardiovascular drugs to the private Italian company Chiesi Farmaceutici for up to $792 million, including $260 million upon closing of the deal.
- Chiesi will buy the high blood pressure drug Cleviprex and the anti-clotting agent Kengreal, along with rights to Argatroban injection.
- The sale will help Medicines Co. invest further in its pipeline and reduce annual expenses by between $65 million and $80 million, the company said.
Medicines Co. is pinning its hopes on four drugs currently in development, including a PCSK9 synthesis inhibitor and a drug for the treatment of gram-negative infections. The infection-fighting drug, called Carbavance, is currently in phase 3 clinical trials and the company aims to file a new drug application with the FDA by the end of the year.
"The divestiture of our non-core cardiovascular products will enable us to drive the continued development of our potential blockbuster R&D products without diluting our shareholders," said Clive Meanwell, the chief executive officer for Medicines Co.
Evaluate Pharma forecasts these three drugs will bring in roughly $1.2 billion between now and 2022. If all sales milestones are hit, the deal could be worth a roughly equal value to that cash flow, Evaluate notes. Using the low end of the company's annual costs savings estimate ($65 million), Medicines Co. could reap nearly $400 million in savings over the deal's contractual value of $792 million. That extra money can be poured into R&D for higher-ceiling products, like the PCSK9 inhibitor drug.
Medicine Co.'s revenues have dropped over the past year as global sales of Aniogmax, a heart drug, have slumped following loss of exclusivity in July 2015. First quarter revenues were only $16.9 million, down from $100.7 million a year prior.
Medicines Co. recorded a net loss of $92.4 million over the past three months, extending losses from the fourth quarter.
Angiomax has been the company's main driver of revenue and the loss of exclusivity last summer caused sales to fall by roughly two-thirds. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently granted a request for a rehearing of Medicine Co.'s litigation against Hospira over the drug's patents, which had been invalidated in an earlier decision.
In that decision, an appeals court panel ruled Medicines Co. had sold its rights to the drug by hiring a contract manufacturing organization to produce the drug before it was patented, according to a report from Stat. The powerful trade association BIO is supporting the company in its attempt to reverse the decision, Stat said.
The deal with Chiesi is expected to close early in the third quarter. Divesting non-core assets to bolster R&D capabilities is part of the Medicines Co.'s broader strategy, and follows a pattern set by a February sale of its hemostasis products to Mallinckrodt.
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