The money from CV Therapeutics' (Nasdaq: CVTX ) recently approved medical diagnostic compound Lexiscan keeps rolling in. On Tuesday, CVT announced that it had received a $10 million milestone payment as a result of the marketing launch of the drug.
Lexiscan was approved by the FDA two months ago, essentially as a treatment to help patients' hearts beat faster. That could help doctors identify potential heart blood-flow disorders, should patients be too sick or otherwise unable to speed up their heart rate through exercise.
Shortly after its approval, CVT performed a smart trick of financial alchemy to squeeze some much-needed immediate cash from Lexiscan. It sold off half of the future Lexiscan North American royalties it will receive from marketing partner Astellas to a private investment group. This royalty monetization deal netted CVT a cool $175 million up front and the potential for a milestone payment upon Lexiscan's launch. That's where this $10 million comes in.
CVT's deal for Lexiscan was smart, not only for how it was made, but also for its timing. If the hearing doesn't get delayed, around July 28 CVT will also hear back from the FDA regarding its marketing applications to improve the label for its anti-angina treatment Ranexa.
Last year, CVT sent in supplemental New Drug Applications to expand Ranexa's reach into front-line angina -- currently, it's a second-line therapy -- and into some diabetes subpopulations. The importance of these potential label improvements for CVT's future can't be overstated, and there's a good chance the company will get at least one of these expanded label requests from the FDA. (Any other outcome would greatly surprise this Fool.) CVT has been in negotiations with potential partners over a whole slew of Ranexa deals, and the added cash has strengthened its negotiating hand.
There have been a spate of innovative financing deals among young drugmakers such as CVT and fellow Rule Breakers pick Exelixis (Nasdaq: EXEL ) in recent months. Just because a deal deviates from the normal, straightforward dilutive stock offering, though, that doesn't make it a good one. Thankfully, CVT got a good price for half of its stake in Lexiscan. Even if potential future cardiac-stress agents from rival drugmakers such as King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: KG ) provide tougher-than-expected competition, CVT will have gotten something out of its own offering.