Bristol-Myers Squibb Takes $1.8B Charge for Failed Drug

by Christopher Freeburn | August 24, 2012 4:05 pm

The failure of a new hepatitis drug will prove costly[1] for Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY[2]).

The drug maker announced on Friday that it will take a $1.8 billion charge against third-quarter earnings after canceling further research into the treatment.

Known as BMS-986094, the drug was hoped to treat hepatitis-C, by attacking an enzyme needed for the virus to reproduce inside the body, Reuters noted.

The market for hepatitis-C medications is projected to hit $19 billion worldwide by the end of he decade.

Originally developed by Inhibitex, Bristol-Myers Squibb obtained BMS-986094 when it bought Inhibitex for $2.5 billion earlier this year.

But the drug trials were called off after one of the test subjects developed heart failure and died over concerns about its safety.

Investors shrugged off news of the charge. Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb rose a little over 1% in late Friday trading.

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