Novartis halts trial of superbug drug

The Basel-based pharma company, Novartis, is to take a $235 million (SFr257.3 million) charge after stopping development of a treatment for bacterial infections.

This content was published on August 29, 2008 - 11:58

Novartis reported on Friday that its Aurograb medication had shown a lack of efficacy in mid-stage trials.

The charge, which reflects the full amount allocated to the project, will be taken in the company's third-quarter results.

Novartis acquired Aurograb in 2006 when it bought NeuTec Pharma, a specialist in fighting hospital superbugs, for nearly $570 million.

Another compound acquired with NeuTec, Mycograb, continues in late-stage trials for the treatment of a life-threatening fungal infection.

Analysts at JP Morgan said in a note that the move would have "no significant impact on Novartis, although [it would be] a small negative for sentiment".

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