May 15, 2008
Earlier in the week, Flamel Technologies (Nasdaq: FLML ) updated investors on what to expect for the rest of the year, calling finding partners to help pay for its hepatitis C and diabetes compounds a top priority.
Sales numbers from Flamel's only currently marketed drug, Coreg CR, were already known, after partner GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) announced the drug's $70 million in first-quarter sales several weeks ago.
The pivotal phase 3 COSMOS study testing Coreg CR with lisinopril for hypertension is expected to be completed this month, but no timeline was given on when the data will be publicly available. Glaxo has said that it plans to submit a label-expanding marketing application to the FDA later in the year. Flamel will hopefully have more data on some of its numerous preclinical-stage projects by the end of the year as well.
Flamel didn't give any guidance on when it might ink a deal for its hepatitis C interferon drug or long-acting diabetes compound, but did call finding partners for these two drugs its highest priorities. Surely Flamel can get some partner to help pay for the costs of developing its hepatitis C drug -- everyone wants a piece of the action after all -- but it remains to be seen how strong a deal and how much upfront cash Flamel can get for these compounds. Let's not forget that Flamel has had multiple partners, including Biovail (NYSE: BVF ) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY ) , bolt from it in the past.
Flamel has been tightening its belt and cutting costs across the board in the first quarter. It burned through a measly $1.8 million in the quarter, and at that rate its $39 million in cash on the balance sheet will last it for a long time. Hopefully Flamel can add to this cash pile with some positive deals for its pipeline drugs.