* Thrombogenics says considers "strategic options"
* U.S. sales of eye drug Jetrea disappoint in 2013
* Shares rise to four-month high
BRUSSELS, Feb 24 Belgian biotech group
Thrombogenics said it is reviewing how to improve sales
of its main product in the United States, where sales have
disappointed, sending its shares up 14 percent to a four-month
The group has a marketing agreemeent with Novartis
unit Alcon outside the United States but is selling eye drug
Jetrea, a treatment for vitreomacular adhesion, an
ageing-related condition that can lead to blindness, on its own
in the U.S.
U.S. sales have been sluggish so far and below the company's
own expectations, with analysts estimating a fall in users in
the second half of 2013.
"We are starting the strategic exercise with an open mind,"
Chief Executive Patrik De Haes said.
Thrombogenics shares hit 21.4 euros and were by far the
biggest risers on Belgium's Bel20 bluechip index.
"I think they are looking for external parties to help them
in the United States. One of the options is to do what they have
done in Europe, where they signed a marketing deal with
(Novartis unit) Alcon," said KBC analyst Jan De Kerpel.
Thrombogenics was not immediately available to elaborate on
what kind of scenario the board was considering. The company
said it had hired Morgan Stanley as an adviser.