Biogen Idec drops baminercept for RA

Biogen Idec said it won't continue developing baminercept for rheumatoid arthritis after the drug failed to hit the primary or secondary endpoints in a Phase II trial. The primary endpoint was defined as the proportion of baminercept-treated patients who achieved an ACR50 response, a standard measure of disease improvement in RA, compared to placebo at 14 weeks. Biogen will continue to analyze the study results and will submit the data for presentation at an upcoming medical meeting.

Fortunately for Biogen, analysts hadn't factored the drug's sales into the company's future performance. "We view this as largely a nonevent for Biogen shares as baminercept was not in our model and (Wall) Street expectations for the drug were low," said Jefferies analyst Dr. Adam A. Walsh.

- see Biogen's release