NitroMed is in trouble. The company is not only shutting down its sales force and laying off 70 of the 90 people work work there, but asking the investment bank Cowen & Co. to advise it on "strategic alternatives."
Here's the deal: NitroMed launched the congestive heart failure drug BiDil in 2005; it was the first drug to be approved for use in one racial group, African-Americans. At first expected to sell at a fast clip--$130 million by one analyst's 2006 estimate--it fell far short, with 2006 sales of $12.1 million. Revenue from the drug was still growing, albeit slowly, as the company worked on a new version to be taken just once a day rather than three times.
Now, NitroMed is acknowledging that it just doesn't have the firepower to market BiDil successfully--hence the sales shutdown until other "strategic alternatives" materialize.
- see the release from NitroMed
- read this Wall Street Journal article
NitroMed lays off researchers in shakeup. Report
NitroMed pricing plan for BiDil comes under fire. Report
In step toward personalized medicine, FDA approves BiDil. Report