Idenix ($IDIX)
Market cap: $487 million

The scoop: Granted, there's nothing like a partial clinical hold from the FDA to kill any takeover buzz about a biotech company. But … At the beginning of the year, Idenix ($IDIX) was one of the most hotly rumored takeover targets in the business. Then BMS-094 went up in flames after one patient in a study died and several others were hospitalized and regulators were so alarmed by the threat that they made the cautious decision to halt Idenix's work on a somewhat similar "nuc" for hepatitis C.

Days ago Idenix set out to reassure its battered investors, saying that investigators had been poring over safety data on IDX184 and would be ready to respond to the FDA's concerns by the end of this year. They are also positioning another program from the NS5A inhibitor IDX719 for a midstage study.

"Our goal remains to develop an all-oral pan-genotypic regimen that will play a significant role in future HCV treatments," said CEO Ron Renaud. And if the FDA eventually gives them a clean bill of health, you can expect the takeover rumors to reignite.

For more:
Idenix plunges after FDA puts another hep C treatment on hold
Hep C drug deal frenzy can't be slowed by growing doubts
JPM kicks off with fevered focus on the next big biotech deal