Healthcare Business

Will Medicines Co Be the Next Target of Novartis?

Medicines Co. (NASDAQ: MDCO) shares shot up on Tuesday after it was reported that Novartis A.G. (NYSE: NVS) might be eyeing this company as its newest acquisition.

Currently, Medicines has a market cap of $5.5 billion, after seeing shares nearly quadruple in 2019 alone, including Tuesday’s move. With growth like this, Medicines could fetch an even higher price, should it be acquired.

However, this wouldn’t be a problem for Novartis, which boasts a $203 billion market cap and $8.38 billion in cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet.

Novartis appears to be targeting Medicines for its top drug candidate, a cholesterol-lowering drug for heart patients called inclisiran.

Historically, Novartis has had a strong cardiovascular drug franchise, but the firm lost ground when Diovan, once a $6 billion-per-year seller, lost patent protection in 2012, leaving the company without an immediate, innovative follow-up product.

Apart from this, Novartis has been building up its portfolio, which now includes Entresto, a $1 billion seller for heart failure, as well as an experimental RNA-targeting molecule from Ionis Pharmaceuticals that it licensed earlier this year for $150 million.

Shares of Medicines traded up about 23% to $71.96 Tuesday morning, in a 52-week range of $16.69 to $73.85. The consensus price target is $69.77.

Novartis was relatively flat at $89.98 a share. The 52-week range is $73.54 to $95.00, and the consensus price target is $101.00.