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Novartis announced today that it discontinued the development of two investigational compounds in its pharmaceutical pipeline, reflecting enhanced focus on differentiated medicines most likely to address unmet medical needs.
Novartis and Human Genome Sciences decided to stop further global development of the investigational compound albinterferon alfa-2b for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C. The decision was based on feedback from EU and US regulatory authorities as well as on new data from a phase II study conducted with the monthly dosing of albinterferon. An intangible asset impairment charge of approximately USD 230 million will be taken in the third quarter of 2010 in the Novartis Pharmaceuticals division.
Novartis further decided to stop clinical development of Mycograb (efungumab), an antifungal agent being assessed as an add-on therapy to treat invasive candidiasis in adult patients. Following this decision, an intangible asset impairment and other related charges of approximately USD 360 million will be taken in the third quarter of 2010 in the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Division.
The impairment charges are expected to be partially offset through the proceeds received from the sale of the US rights for Enablex (darifenacin) to Warner Chilcott for USD 400 million, as announced on September 24, 2010. A gain of approximately USD 390 million will be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010.