Rituxan fails (again) in late-stage lupus trial
One application for approval and one disappointing study for the pharma business this week..
Shares of Merck were sliding again this morning on the news that the FDA has turned thumbs down on MK-0524A, (Cordaptive) its new cholesterol therapy. The stock dropped eight percent after regulators announced that the experimental therapy, a combination of niacin and laropiprant that had been high up on the drug giant's list of potential blockbusters, failed to make the grade.
Genentech and Biogen Idec were taking it on the chin this morning after researchers announced that Rituxan had failed in a later-stage trial as a therapy for lupus. The failure won't harm the blockbuster's penetration of the markets for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.