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Bristol-Myers Discontinues Development of Hepatitis C Drug

By Nathalie Tadena Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) said Thursday it has discontinued the development of a drug intended to treat the liver disease hepatitis C in the interest of patient safety, after a patient died and others were hospitalized. Bristol-Myers earlier this month voluntarily suspended a Phase 2 study of BMS-986094, which was formerly known as INX-189, a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor, or "nuke." The initial case of heart failure, which was the basis for halting the study, subsequently resulted in death, the company said Thursday. Bristol-Myers said it is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and clinical study investigators to conduct ongoing and close follow-ups of all the study's patients. To date, nine patients have been hospitalized, including the initial patient, and two remain hospitalized. The company said the cause of these unexpected events, which involve heart and kidney toxicity, hasn't been definitively established. Bristol-Myers decision to halt the study earlier this month raised questions about the experimental drug's potential and the $2.5 billion price tag Bristol paid earlier this year to buy the company that developed it. The suspension was considered a significant setback for the drug maker--already grappling with weak sales of its Plavix anticlotting drug that lost patent protection in May--in the race to develop new hepatitis C treatments. Bristol-Myers as well as other companies such as Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) has been looking to bring the first all-oral hepatitis C regimen to market, hoping to tap what is expected to be a multibillion-dollar market for such a therapy. To strengthen its hepatitis C position, Bristol-Myers in February shelled out $2.5 billion to buy Inhibitex Inc. at a whopping 163% premium. Bristol was lured primarily by Inhibitex's nuke for hepatitis C, though it did acquire other potential treatments for infectious disease in the deal. Treatments for hepatitis C are considered lucrative because the disease is prevalent in large sections of the global population. The virus, which can be transmitted sexually or through use of shared needles and at tattoo parlors, affects some 170 million people world-wide. Separately, Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SGYP) said it has agreed to acquire the assets related to shingles treatment FV-100 from Bristol-Myers. FV-100 was developed by Inhibitex. Shares were up by 10 cents to $32.25 after hours. The stock has fallen 8.8% since the start of the year. -Write to Nathalie Tadena at nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for Gilead Sciences (GILD)
DateTimeHeadline
04/15/201413:30:03Sales of Johnson s New Hepatitis Drug Soars
04/11/201416:32:17MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Extend Fall; S&P On Pace For 2...
04/10/201409:43:48Merck: Hepatitis C Drug Shows 98% Cure Rate in Mid-Stage Trial...
04/07/201409:55:50U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stock to Watch
04/07/201409:25:35Gilead Hepatitis C Treatment Designated for FDA Priority Review
04/02/201418:00:08Gilead Says Hepatitis C Drug's Trial in Japan Meets Endpoint
03/30/201408:46:34MARKET SNAPSHOT: Play-it-safe Stock Investors May Take Some Risk...
03/28/201419:33:49MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks End Week With Losses
03/28/201415:03:35MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Pare Gains; Indexes Set For Weekly...
03/26/201416:30:44Merck, Glaxo Hold Off on Help With Affordable Care Act Copays
03/24/201415:29:56MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Drift Lower After Weak PMI
03/21/201416:22:49U.S. Stocks Edge Lower
02/05/201409:38:47U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
12/09/201309:37:22U.S. Hot Stocks Futures: Hot Stocks to Watch
11/15/201309:10:28Caxton Associates LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30 -2-
11/15/201309:10:28Caxton Associates LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
11/15/201309:10:27Caxton Associates LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201308:50:01Viking Global Investors LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations
11/15/201308:49:57Viking Global Investors LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201308:39:34Kingdon Capital Management 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of -2-

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