Correvio is putting itself up on the auction block after FDA review panel points to another rejection
For 13 years, the Canadian biotech Correvio tried to get the FDA to accept a heart drug since abandoned by Merck and Astellas. Yesterday, the agency’s outside experts voted 11-2 against approval, all but assuring another rejection for the atrial fibrillation compound vernakalant.
And today Correvio announced that Correvio may soon be no more. The company said it is looking to sell itself as its stock plummets into penny-stock territory $CORV and its potential moneymaker sputters once more.
“It is in the best interest of our stakeholders to expand our internal corporate development efforts and formally evaluate strategic alternatives for the company,” CEO Mark Corrigan said in statement.
Vernakalant could have made Correvio up to $150 million per year if approved, according to Bloom Burton analyst David Martin. Then known as Cardiome, the biotech had first tried to get the drug approved in 2006. When the FDA rejected them in 2008, they planned another Phase III trial.
That Phase III came to a halt when the FDA slapped a hold over a patient death, burnishing safety concerns that prompted the first rejection and were front and center in yesterday’s FDA outside review.
The drug is approved in Europe, Canada and other countries. Even with sales from that and other drugs, including two antibiotics, Correvio posted $10.8 million in losses last quarter.