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The Medicines Company ( MDCO - Analyst Report ) recently announced the launch of a 50mL ready-to-use formulation of Argatroban injection. Argatroban is a direct thrombin inhibitor indicated for prophylaxis or treatment of thrombosis in adult patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and as an anticoagulant in adult patients with or at risk for HIT undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The ready-to-use formulation gained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in late June 2011.
The new formulation of Argatroban, which will be available in a pre-mixed ready-to-use, single use 50 mL vial, should provide pharmacy and nursing departments with a more efficient and economical delivery system. The new formulation could also minimize cost as it offers a smaller dosing unit which could reduce the waste of medication.
Currently available Argatroban formulations include a concentrate formula that has to be reconstituted to 250 mL and a package of two pre-mixed 125 mL vials.
The Medicines Company is currently working with hospitals, integrated health networks and group purchasing organizations to provide the new ready-to-use formulation as soon as possible.
Argatorban became a part of The Medicines Company’s portfolio through its September 2009 licensing agreement with specialty pharmaceutical company Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Under the licensing agreement, The Medicines Company acquired marketing rights in the US and Canada to Argatroban.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on The Medicines Company, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). The company received a major boost in 2010 regarding its Angiomax patent extension case. The principal patent on Angiomax has been extended to August 2012. We are also pleased to see that management is actively pursuing in-licensing deals and acquisitions to make up for the loss of revenues that could take place with the genericization of Angiomax, which is facing patent challenges.
In addition to its licensing agreement with Eagle Pharmaceuticals for Argatroban, The Medicines Company has agreements with other companies like Pfizer ( PFE - Analyst Report ) and Ligand Pharmaceuticals ( LGND - Snapshot Report ) .
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