Updated with new information.
PRINCETON, NJ ( TheStreet) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) suspended a mid-stage study of its experimental hepatitis C drug BMS-094 due to a serious safety issue -- a major blow to the company's research pipeline that is also likely to rejigger the way Wall Street views other companies' efforts to develop an all-oral therapy against the viral liver disease.
BMS-094 belongs to the highly coveted and potent class of hepatitis C drugs known as nucleotide polymerase inhibitors, or "nucs" for short. If Bristol is forced to shelve BMS-094 permanently, competitors with their own nucs still in development -- Gilead Sciences (GILD), Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) -- stand to benefit as long as the toxicity that derailed BMS-094 is specific to that drug and is not a class effect.
For Bristol, the blowup of BMS-094 is even more painful because the drug was the sole reason behind the $2.5 billion acquisition of Inhibitex last January.The safety issue that forced Bristol to suspend the phase II study of BMS-094 is believed to be heart failure, according to ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum. Bristol is not positive that BMS-094 caused the heart failure but the company is "very concerned" and is taking the extraordinary step of evaluating all patients treated with the drug for potential heart problems, said Schoenebaum in an email to clients. "We recommend that investors assume BMY's
>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/adamfeuerstein. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV