CV Thera Rebuffs Astellas Again, Posts Loss

The drugmaker again said the offer from Astellas undervalues the company as it reported a wider fourth-quarter loss.
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CV Therapeutics

(CVTX)

on Friday again rejected a $16-a-share unsolicited takeover offer from the Japanese drug maker

Astellas

and reported a wider fourth-quarter loss.

After a review, the board of CV Therapeutics concluded that Astellas's offer undervalues the company and wasn't in the best interest of shareholders, the company said.

CV Therapeutics had previously rejected the same proposal from Astellas on Nov. 21, 2008.

"CV Therapeutics has a strategic plan in place which we believe will enhance shareholder value. Moreover, we have always been, and remain, receptive to opportunities to further enhance shareholder value," said CV Therapeutics Chairman and CEO Lou Lange, in a statement.

Meantime, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based drugmaker reported a wider fourth-quarter loss on higher costs related to the re-launch of the chronic angina drug Ranexa.

CV Therapeutics said the fourth-quarter net loss totaled $37 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $34.1 million, or 57 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Total revenue in the quarter rose 90% to $41.9 million from $22.4 million one year ago. New royalty and license revenue flowing into the company accounts for a large part of the increase in total revenue.

The company's top- and bottom-line performance in the fourth quarter both fell short of analyst expectations, which called for a net loss of 32 cents a share on $42 million in total revenue.

In November, CV Therapeutics received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to expand Ranexa's label to include treatment for nearly all patients with chronic angina. The company recently re-launched the drug in an effort to accelerate sales growth.

Ranexa's U.S. sales in the quarter totaled $31.5 million, up 4% sequentially and 51% year over year.

Total costs and expenses in the fourth quarter totaled $69.5 million, up 21% sequentially as CV Therapeutics spent heavily on Ranexa's re-launch.

Total Ranexa prescriptions, as tracked by the healthcare data firm IMS, reached a high of 11,604 for the week ended Feb. 6, 2009, the company said, an all-time high for weekly prescriptions.

Since the new Ranexa label was approved in November, average weekly total prescriptions have increased 12% while new prescriptions have risen 21%. Both figures exclude holiday weeks, according to the company.

CV Therapeutics said it would offer more detailed 2009 financial guidance in the middle of the year as the Ranexa re-launch progresses. Analysts currently expect the company to lose 65 cents a share on total revenue of $227 million.

Shares of CV Therapeutics closed Thursday at $15.01.

At the time of publication, Feuerstein's Biotech Select model portfolio was long CV Therapeutics.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback;

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