Disappointing sales of ThromboGenics' only marketed product, Jetrea, have taken their toll on the company's profits this year. To get back in the black, the Belgian company now says it's spinning out its cancer R&D activities to focus on the struggling eye drug.
Turns out, selling ThromboGenics wasn't such a good idea. After weighing its options, the Belgian company figures it won't look for a buyer. Instead, it will recruit a U.S. marketing partner...
Just over a month into its search for "strategic options," ThromboGenics has rounded up a bevy of high-dollar offers that could value the company at as much as $1.3 billion, Bloomberg reports, courted by drugmakers who see promise in its underperforming eye drug.
ThromboGenics admitted last month that slow U.S. sales of its lead drug had put it into a quandary. What could it do to turn the tide? Explore strategic options. Now, the company says sales lagged further for the second half of 2013.
To hear some biotechs talk about it, getting to the point where they can sell their own drug is the Holy Grail that drives their R&D effort. Many of these drugs can be sold with small, dedicated sales teams focused in relatively small groups of specialists.
Novartis ($NVS) got a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) today for the pioneering eye drug that it licensed last year from ThromboGenics in a deal, worth about €375 million ($498 million).
ThromboGenics touted positive results from two Phase III trials of the Belgian biotech's experimental drug for age-related eye ailments.
ThromboGenics came closer to having its first approved drug on the U.S. market, gaining an FDA advisory committee recommendation for its lead drug candidate, ocriplasmin, for combatting vision-impairing vitreomacular adhesion.
The FDA advisory committee echoed some of the safety concerns raised in an agency staff review earlier this week, but members ultimately voted 6-3 that no additional studies of the treatment's impact on the retina were needed prior to approval, Bloomberg reported.
The FDA managed to rattle ThromboGenics' investors yesterday with a warning on the adverse events associated with its eye drug ocriplasmin. With an expert panel review looming tomorrow, the regulatory review cited several serious adverse events, sending the biotech's shares down as much as 19% at one point.