Putting a close to a turnaround second quarter, CV Therapeutics
In the second quarter, sales of CVT's lead drug, angina treatment Ranexa, were up 28% to $15 million versus the first quarter of the year. This wasn't nearly enough to bring CVT to profitability, as it still recorded a $58 million loss in the quarter thanks to $47 million in SG&A costs partly associated with its 150-person sales team and large R&D expenditures totaling $28.8 million.
There are some pivotal events around the corner for CVT, including feedback on its Ranexa marketing application with European Union medical authorities in the first half of 2008, an FDA decision on a new Ranexa label next year, and a PDUFA date for its heart imaging agent, regadenoson, in the middle of March. If approved, regadenoson would compete against numerous imaging agents, including generic products from Abraxis Bioscience
The drugmaker ended the first half of the year with $234 million in cash and investments. Its guidance for the second half of the year is for an additional $105 million to $108 million in operating expenses (excluding cost of goods sold), so there is at least one more dilutive financing event in CVT's future, barring a lucrative partnership agreement for Ranexa.
Speaking of a partner, CV Therapeutics expects to continue discussions on finding a marketing partner for the U.S., and possibly the rest of world, in the fall. An ideal deal would be a profit-sharing agreement that allowed CVT to co-promote Ranexa in the U.S. with a healthy up-front cash payment, as this would reduce its cash burn from marketing the drug and keep future share-diluting financings to a minimum.
CVT also mentioned yesterday that it had hired an investment banker to explore "strategic alternatives." Just the hiring of an outside consultant doesn't mean that the drugmaker is trying to sell itself. Drugmakers take these actions all the time, and it makes sense for CVT to explore strategic alternatives at this time, because any future partnership agreement will likely be a big deterrent to potential acquirers.
On the conference call, CVT also mentioned that partner Biogen Idec
Progress with its pipeline, progress with improving its capital structure, and progress with its lead drug all make for a good quarter for any drugmaker. If it can keep up the momentum with a good partnership deal for Ranexa, CVT's shareholders will be in for more good times.