Medicines Co. Said to Weigh Strategic Options for European Unit

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Medicines Co. is weighing options including a sale for its European business as the drug developer seeks to benefit from the boom in health-care deals, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is working with financial advisers from Rothschild on the review, which may lead to a sale, licensing agreement or partnership for its treatments in Europe, the people said, asking not to be identified because the process is private. While no agreement is imminent, work on the review is advanced, the people said.

More than $40 billion has been spent or committed on biotechnology purchases so far in 2015, including AbbVie Inc.’s $21 billion acquisition of Pharmacyclics Inc.

Medicines Co.’s biggest product is Angiomax, an injectable anti-clotting drug that had sales of $636 million last year, mostly in the U.S. The drug is marketed as Angiox in European countries such as the U.K, Germany, France and Italy.

In March, the European Commission granted Medicines Co. permission to market three of the company’s drugs: clot inhibitor Kengreal (cangrelor), Orbactiv, a treatment for patients with skin infections, and Raplixa, which helps stop bleeding during surgery.

Representatives for Parsippany, New Jersey-based Medicines Co. and Rothschild declined to comment.

On June 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Kengreal as an alternative to other clot preventers such as clopidogrel, the generic version of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Plavix. Kengreal would be used to reduce the risks of heart attack and blood clots in patients who’ve had a procedure to open a blocked artery and who can’t take a pill.

Sales of Angiomax fell 35 percent to $100.7 million in the first quarter, the company said last month. It had warned on April 9 that sales may decrease this year if a generic version the drug becomes available in the U.S. after June.

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