Human Genome Sciences
Investors reply, "Tell us something we didn't already know."
After making the above comment this morning, shares are trading up slightly, just like the rest of the market.
The theory behind Zalbin was a good one. Current hepatitis C treatments from Roche and Merck
But Zalbin's efficacy data wasn't really as strong as the current treatments, and the FDA thinks the risk-benefit analysis isn't tipping quite enough toward benefit to approve the drug. The FDA is still reviewing Zalbin, but early communication from the agency led Human Genome to think the FDA isn't going to approve it.
In April, Human Genome's marketing partner, Novartis
Of course, even if the FDA did approve Zalbin, it was likely to be a marketing flop. Next-generation drugs from Merck and Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Now that Zalbin is all but dead -- Novartis and Human Genome are considering testing the drug as a once-a-month treatment, but I wouldn't hold my breath -- investors can turn their eyes to Human Genome's real future: lupus treatment Benlysta. Human Genome and marketing partner GlaxoSmithKline
Expectations for Benlysta's approval are orders of magnitude higher than they were for Zalbin, so don't expect the same kind of shrug if regulators give any hint that they might not approve Benlysta.
Fool Jordan DiPietro thinks one company in particular is the best. Period.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Novartis is a Global Gains pick. The Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline and has a disclosure policy.