Bristol Myers slumps as Bayer trial failure casts doubt on $5 billion drug

German drugmaker Bayer scrapped a late-stage trial of an experimental blood thinner that could have major implications for Bristol Myers.

Nov 20, 2023 - 19:30
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Bristol Myers slumps as Bayer trial failure casts doubt on $5 billion drug

Updated at 8:34 AM EST

Bristol Myers Squibb  (BMY) - Get Free Report shares slumped lower in early Monday trading after drugmaker Bayer AG halted late-stage trials of a blood thinning drug that could complicate the development of similar treatments.

Bayer shares plunged to a multi-decade low in European trading following a late Sunday update that said its experimental anticoagulant, known as asundexian, was shown to be inferior to Eliquis, a blood-thinner made by Bristol Myers and Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Free Report.

"This decision is based on the recommendation of the study’s Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) as part of ongoing surveillance which showed an inferior efficacy of asundexian versus the control arm," Bayer said in a statement. 

"Although the results from this analysis do not support the continuation of the study, we will continue investigating asundexian and are currently reevaluating other indications in patients in need of antithrombotic treatment," Bayer added.

The scrapping of the study, however, has cast doubt on an upcoming 'phase 3' trial of milvexian, a similar 'FIX(a)' inhibitor developed by Bristol Myers and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Free Report, that will assess its ability to treat patients with various cardio vascular diseases who are at risk to excessive bleeding.

The trial, known as Librexia, was granted fast-track approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration earlier this year. Bristol Myers had indicated that milvexian could ultimate generate around $5 billion in annual revenues, split with Johnson & Johnson, should it ultimately be approved. 

Bristol Myers shares were marked 4.6% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $48.49 each, a move that would still leave the stock with a 24% gain over the past six months. Johnson & Johnson shares were marked 1.2% lower at $148.01 each. 

Bayer shares, meanwhile, were marked 18.8% lower in mid-day Frankfurt trading to change hands at €33.60 each, the lowest levels in more than twelve years.

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