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Idenix Down 30 Percent on Disappointing Data

Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IDIX) fell 30 percent in Friday trading after it announced that the Food and Drug Administration requested additional safety data on the drug. In light of the request, the company put further clinical trials on hold.

The drug, currently referred to as IDX20963, is an experimental compound for the treatment of Hepatitis C. According to the release,

“Initiation of clinical trials for IDX20963 is on hold and the Company must provide a satisfactory response to the FDA before clinical trials can begin in the United States. As a result, the Company anticipates a delay in the initiation of the clinical program for IDX20963 while it responds to the FDA’s comments. Idenix recently submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for IDX20963 to the FDA, including preclinical data demonstrating potent, pan-genotypic activity.”

Investors sold the stock en masse today because IDX20963 is viewed as the most promising drug in the company’s pipeline. Hepatitis C is a crowded research area making it a race to be the first company to gain FDA approval. The announcement that clinical trials are now on hold is seen as a major setback for the stock.

In light of the news, the stock received four analyst downgrades further placing the stock under pressure.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the above mentioned stock.

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