Shares of Novartis slid several points this morning as investors responded to Friday's announcement that Novartis was withdrawing its irritable bowel syndrome drug Zelnorm from the market. The news was likely to be a major disappointment to the IBS patients who raised Zelnorm's take last year to $561 million. The collective trial data showed that 13 of 11,614 patients taking the therapy experienced heart problems--and one died--compared to one of the 7,031 patients taking a placebo. That additional risk was not warranted by the potential benefits, regulators concluded.
- see this release from Novartis
- read the New York Times report on Zelnorm