BMY Cancels Development of Hep C Treatment, Incurs $1.8B Charge

Bristol-Myer’s Squibb (NYSE:BMY) announced last night that it would be officially discontinuing development of its Hepatitis C treatment, known as BMS-986094, and revealed the financial losses that the failed trials incurred. After one patient in the trial died, and eight more had to be hospitalized early this month, BMY voluntarily halted the Phase 2 trials of the product. While the discontinuation news comes as no surprise, the $1.8 billion charge on the drug will make a dent in the company’s balance sheet. BMY will include the non-cash, pre-tax impairment charge in its third quarter earnings report, which is related to research and development of the product. Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired the candidate in January as part of its $2.5B buyout of Inhibitex. The discontinuation narrows the field of competition in the race to develop an effective hepatitis C treatment, for which the global market may be as high as $20B. (more…)