MDCO's Cangrelor Enrollment by 4Q

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The Medicines Company (MDCO) recently announced that patient enrollment for its pivotal phase III CHAMPION PHOENIX trial is expected to finish in the fourth quarter of 2012. The study is evaluating cangrelor for the prevention of platelet activation and aggregation when oral therapy is not feasible or desirable.

The Medicines Company’s said that the study’s independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (:DSMB) recommended a sample size of 10,900 patients for the trial. The DSMB earlier conducted a pre-specified interim analysis with around 7,700 patients from the trial.

Besides cangrelor, The Medicines Company has two late stage candidates. The company is developing oritavancin, a semi-synthetic lipoglycopeptide antibiotic candidate. The other candidate is MDCO-157, a Captisol-enabled intravenous (:IV) formulation of clopidogrel (the active ingredient in Plavix).

While oritavancin became a part of the company’s pipeline through its acquisition of Targanta Therapeutics in February 2009, The Medicines Company entered into a licensing agreement with Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) in June 2011 under which it acquired exclusive worldwide rights to MDCO-157.

The resolution of the Angiomax patent extension case was a major boost for The Medicines Company. The company's settlement agreements with Teva (TEVA) and APP regarding Angiomax are also positive events. We are also pleased to see the company's progress with its pipeline.

Moreover, we are pleased to see that management is actively pursuing in-licensing deals and acquisitions to drive growth. The AstraZeneca (AZN) deal is another smart move by the company. However, we believe all these positive developments are already factored into the stock price.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on The Medicines Company, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating).

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