Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Medicines Stopping the Bleeding

When the CEO of a drugmaker states that the market for its top drug "sucks," you know market conditions are rough. During its third-quarter conference call last week, that's exactly how The Medicines Company (Nasdaq: MDCO  ) described the sales environment for its lead drug, Angiomax.

Angiomax is used as an anticoagulant, helping to prevent blood clots during angioplasty surgery for patients with clogged arteries. It is also Medicines' only marketed drug, and it's being sold as a treatment for a surgery that some medical-device makers like Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX  ) have estimated declined by 10% in procedural volume earlier in the year. Yeah, not the greatest market there.

Even with the declining volume of angioplasties in the U.S., sales of Angiomax were up nearly 9% in the U.S. year over year. This sales growth was artificially boosted, though, by hospitals stocking up on the drug ahead of a planned price increase in the quarter. Ignoring the effects of stock options and one-time items -- like its payment to former partner Nycomed to reacquire the European rights to Angiomax -- Medicines' net income was less than half that recorded in its year-ago quarter, down to $6.3 million or $0.12 a share.  

Most drugmakers would prefer to have a niche drug in a growing market, rather than a leading drug in a shrinking market. Angiomax currently falls into the latter category, given its use in approximately 42% of coronary angioplasty surgeries.

In September, though, Medicines filed a supplemental New Drug Application to expand the use of Angiomax to patients with acute coronary syndromes. That's a much bigger market, currently served by drugs like Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY  ) Plavix.

In conjunction with the possible Angiomax label expansion, and the launch of another new product next year, Medicines will be expanding its sales force. With positive operating cash flow of $11.3 million in the first half of the year, no debt, and a history of product acquisitions, perhaps a purchase of an existing and complementary hospital sales force for $250 million or so might be in order for Medicines.

More Foolishness for your heart:

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 539335, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2016 8:40:53 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
MDCO $36.33 Down +0.00 +0.00%
The Medicines Comp… CAPS Rating: ****
BMY $50.02 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Bristol-Myers Squi… CAPS Rating: ****
BSX $22.82 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Boston Scientific CAPS Rating: ***