Friday, August 3, 2012

Bristol weighs writedown of hepatitis drug

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co on Friday said it is considering whether to write down the value of one of its most important experimental drugs, a treatment for hepatitis C that suffered a major setback in clinical trials earlier this week.

The drugmaker on Wednesday said it had stopped administering the drug, called BMS-986094, in a mid-stage trial due to a serious safety issue.

Bristol-Myers said the cause of the safety issue and any potential relationship to the drug, was not known, and that it was undertaking an immediate assessment of all patients involved in the study. The drug is not being used in any other trials, a company spokeswoman told Reuters.

Bristol Myers acquired BMS-986094 through its $2.5 billion purchase of Inhibitex Inc earlier this year. On Friday, in a regulatory filing, it said the carrying value of the drug was $1.8 billion as of June 30.

"The company is assessing whether an impairment is required," Bristol-Myers said in a regulatory filing, referring to a potential writedown in its value.

The medicine belongs to a promising new type of hepatitis C medicines called nucleotide polymerase inhibitors, which work by targeting polymerase - an enzyme essential for replication of the hepatitis C virus

Related- BMS-986094 (INX-189) Suspended HCV Study-on 'Serious' Issue

Source - (Reuters)

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