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Medicines Co jumps on anti-clotting drug study

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of The Medicines Co. climbed to their highest price in almost five years Tuesday after the company said its anti-clotting drug cangrelor worked in a late-stage clinical trial.

THE SPARK: The trial was designed to measure cangrelor's effectiveness in preventing platelet buildup that leads to blood clots in patients undergoing coronary angioplasty procedures. Medicines Co. said in the first 48 hours after surgery, patients who took cangrelor were less likely to die, suffer a heart attack or a blood clot on the surface of the stent, or require bypass surgery because of restricted blood flow than patients who took Plavix, an older drug.

About 10,900 patients were enrolled in the trial.

THE BIG PICTURE: Medicines Co. makes the anti-clotting drug Angiomax. In the first nine months of the year, U.S. sales of the drug rose about 10 percent to $360.5 million. The Parsippany, N.J., company is also studying a broad-spectrum antibiotic called oritavancin and an intravenous version of Plavix. Both of those products are in late-stage trials.

Medicines Co. says it plans to file for marketing approval of cangrelor in 2013 and hopes to launch the drug in 2014.

THE ANALYSIS: Jefferies & Co. analyst Biren Amin said he believes annual U.S. sales of cangrelor will peak at about $370 million in 2020. He maintained a "Buy" rating and a price target of $34 per share on Medicines Co. stock.

SHARE ACTION: Medicines Co. stock advanced $3.17, or 12.3 percent, to $28.99 in afternoon trading. Earlier the shares rose as high as $29.29, their highest price since February 2007.