With the company about to split in two, Abraxis BioScience
In July, Abraxis announced that it was splitting its generic injectable drug business from its biotech division. The latter sells breast cancer treatment Abraxane, a paclitaxel nanoparticle bound by the natural albumin protein, with its partner AstraZeneca
The new Abraxis BioScience will inherit about $1 billion after the split, which should help it move forward quickly. The company is trying to get Abraxane approved in six regulatory regions, including the European Union. It also has clinical trials in the works to try to get the drug approved to treat non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma.
In addition to Abraxane, the company is developing other drugs based on the same nab technology. The company has already begun two clinical trials for nab-docetaxel, and clinical studies for nab-rapamycin are expected to begin later this year. These early stage trials won't cost the company that much money, but, as the trials progress, the initial cash infusion will come in handy.
It's going to be quite a while before the new biotech company has a second drug to sell, so I hope it considers using some of that large stash of cash to acquire other oncology products, which would help put its sales force to work more efficiently.
The injectable pharmaceutical business -- soon to be called APP Pharmaceuticals -- should benefit from the split as well. The division is a cash-generating machine that brought in $326 million in gross profits last year. Without having to fund the biotech clinical trials -- although it will have to service the debt from the original company -- it should be in a better position to grow. That should help APP Pharmaceuticals compete against rivals Baxter
New products are the lifeline of the generic drug business, and APP Pharmaceuticals seems to be on track to add more drugs to its arsenal. The company has 23 abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) pending with the Food and Drug Administration and has already received eight approvals this year. It also plans to add prefilled syringes to its product offering, which should make nurses everywhere happy.
While I think the split will ultimately benefit both companies, I'm not sure that now is the best time to buy the stock. After the split, investors will receive one share of each company for each share they own. Unless you plan to hold both of the new companies and think the market will price the new companies appropriately, I would suggest waiting until after the breakup in the fourth quarter to buy.