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The Medicines Company Up On Acquisition News

The Medicines Company stock spiked in early trading after a Bloomberg report said pharma giant Novartis was looking into a potential acquisition of the company.

A Bloomberg report said pharma giant Novartis was looking into a potential acquisition of the company.

Shares of The Medicines Company, a biotech firm developing a cholesterol-lowering treatment, soared Tuesday after a Bloomberg report said pharma giant Novartis was looking into a potential acquisition of the company.

The stock was up 19.6% at $70.14 in recent trading.

The surge came just a day after shares of The Medicines Company (ticker: MDCO) jumped 12.8% on news that its key product, a so-called small-interfering RNA therapy called Inclisiran, had achieved promising results in two Phase 3 studies.

Bloomberg’s report, out early Tuesday morning, said Novartis (NVS) has been conducting due diligence on The Medicines Company in advance of a potential purchase, and that other companies have also expressed interest. The report cited “people familiar with the matter.”

A spokesman for The Medicines Company told Barron’s, “We do not comment on speculation.” Novartis didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The back story. Shares of The Medicines Company have skyrocketed 206.4% so far this year as of Tuesday morning. The firm, which has no products on the market, is developing Inclisiran, which lowers so-called bad cholesterol by inhibiting the production of PCSK9 in the liver. The drug is a small interfering RNA therapy, similar to Alnylam’s (ALNY) Onpattro, which treats a nerve disease.

What’s new. The Bloomberg report comes a day after the latest in a string of promising clinical results for Inclisiran, which The Medicines Company is developing with Alnylam.

“Now with full detailed results from all three Ph.3 studies, we see Inclisiran as a potential blockbuster in the [cardiovascular] space,” wrote SVB Leerink analyst Joseph Schwartz in a note out Monday, adding that the drug is safe and convenient, with dosing just twice a year. “We believe Inclisiran could potentially see widespread uptake for the treatment and prevention of hypercholesteremia much like a yearly flu vaccine.”

Now, bigger fish seem to be circling, according to Bloomberg. The Medicines Company has a market capitalization of $5.6 billion as of Tuesday morning.

Looking forward. Shares of The Medicines Company did back off their premarket highs after the market opened. The stock had been up as much as 27% in the premarket hours.

Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at josh.nathan-kazis@barrons.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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