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What: Shares of biotechnology company Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NAS: IDIX) are dipping 15% today following analyst comments regarding its hepatitis-C drug hopeful, IDX-184.
So what: Brean Murray Corrat analyst Brian Skorney noted, in response to Roche's comments that it was experiencing unacceptable relapse rates for patients on multiple treatment combinations, that Idenix's IDX-184 may need to be used in regimens lasting longer than 12 weeks. This could be a significant setback in that it delays Idenix's clinical studies and makes it a far less attractive combination drug than its peers.
Now what: I'm personally not surprised by today's drop one bit. I've often compared the mergers in the hepatitis-C sector to tulip mania, and speculators who are betting on Idenix getting purchased may have just barked up the wrong tree. Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYS: BMY) took a big gamble in paying $2.5 billion for Inhibitex's leading drug (which was just barely out of phase 1 trials), so I'm not too high on IDX-184's chances after today's analyst comments.
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