Cor Therapeutics' decision to pad its coffers with $250 million via convertible notes had the M&A rumor mill abuzz last week. Scuttlebutt largely centered on the company's prospects for putting a second product into the earnings column.

On its own, it could take CORR years to organically produce another marketed product. It has two products in Phase II trials: one testing Integrilin eptifibatide in acute myocardial infarction; and the other its Cromafiban oral GPIIb/IIIa inhibitor in acute cardiovascular syndrome and stroke. Programs in venous thrombosis and restenosis are in preclinical development, and five programs in cardiovascular and neurological indications are in research.

By BioCentury's tally, eight other companies are either in Phase III trials in the cardiovascular space or have a product on the market (see "Cardio Space," A16). Players of "Fantasy Dealmaking" might be intrigued by Scios (SCIO), which is awaiting formal FDA approval of Natrecor nesiritide to treat acute congestive heart failure. But SCIO is looking to fatten up its own war chest with a follow-on of about $126 million. Likewise, CV Therapeutics (CVTX), which also is approaching the market with its Ranolazine compound for angina, last week raised $100 million of its own (see Cover Story).

The speculation mill also served up Actelion (SWX:ATLN) as possible quarry, even though both its compounds, Tracleer bosentan and Veletri tezosentan, are partnered with Genentech (DNA) in the U.S. Tracleer is awaiting approval in Europe and the U.S. to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, while Veletri tezosentan, which is in Phase III trials to treat acute heart failure, has had one successful Phase III trial and one Phase III failure (see BioCentury, April 23).

Also, one can't say that CORR is without upside absent an acquisition. Integrilin, marketed to treat patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or unstable angina and percutaneous coronary intervention, is on pace to post worldwide sales of $245-$260 million this year, up from $171.7 million in 2000 and $63.7 million in 1999.

CORR typically gets about 55% of those revenues - with the balance going to partner Schering-Plough (SGP) - which would put CORR on pace this year to see about $135 million-$143 million. By comparison, CORR received $96.9 million in Integrilin-related revenues in 2000, and $34.1 million in 1999.