It may qualify as the least surprising biotech news of the new year, but Chiron (CHIR) failed to get its NAT blood-testing system approved by U.S. drug regulators by Dec. 31.
The Emeryville, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical firm had told investors and Wall Street analysts to expect Food and Drug Administration approval of the NAT blood test by the end of 2001.
TheStreet.com cast significant
In December, two Wall Street analysts joined the ranks of those believing NAT was delayed,
Despite missing its self-imposed deadline for NAT approval, Chiron has yet to issue a statement as to what went wrong or to say whether it has a new timetable for approval. Chiron executives would not return calls seeking comment.The NAT blood-testing system, also known by the brand name Procleix, is designed to detect the presence of antigens such as HIV and hepatitis C in donated blood much earlier than current tests. NAT is Chiron's biggest potential growth driver, especially after the