Sales of Boston Scientific Corp.‘s Taxus drug-eluting stent line fell 25 percent during the three months ended June 30, according to a detailed earnings report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Total second-quarter sales for the coronary stent system were $269 million, compared to $358 million during the same period last year. That’s a slight improvement from the first quarter, which saw Taxus sales slide 28 percent compared with the first quarter of 2008.
The modest rebound jibes with a report by Angiotech, the Vancouver-based pharmaceutical company that makes the drug used in the stents’ coating. Angiotech said the royalties it derives from Taxus sales were showing small signs of improvement after several down quarters.
But the details suggest the rebound for BSC’s overall drug eluting stent business wasn’t as robust as initially reported. In July, BoSci said second-quarter drug-eluting stent sales increased by $63 million in the U.S., or 36 percent.
Included in that increase, however, was a $22 million “returns reserve adjustment” the company took during the second quarter of 2008 to compensate for the planned transition from the Taxus Express2 to the second-generation Taxus Liberté. Excluding the adjustment, the DES segment’s second-quarter sales grew by $41 million in the U.S., or 23 percent, compared with the prior quarter.
The report also indicates that Boston Scientific paid down another $500 million worth of its long-term debt. The company is now carrying about $6.3 billion in long-term debts, compared to $6.7 billion at the end of 2008. The next big debt milestone comes in April 2010, when a $325 million payment is due on a term loan. But the real elephant in the room remains the nearly $3.8 billion in outstanding debt that comes due in 2011.