Healthcare Business Update: Bristol-Myers Returns Rights, Sarepta Shares In Orbit

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) is returning its share of overseas rights to the blood thinner Plavix and blood pressure treatment Avalide to Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) subsequent to the loss of patent protection for the medications, but the former will retain United States and Puerto Rico rights to Plavix. In addition, the company will receive royalties until the year 2018 and then a $200 million terminal payment, although it is paying $80 million to Sanofi because of supply disruptions to Avalide in the U.S. last year.

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Shares of Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT) are up nearly 200 percent on the day on word that the eteplirsen treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy met its primary endpoint in a Phase IIb study.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) has reported Phase IIb data for MK-3102, its investigational once-weekly DPP-4 inhibitor which is in development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The data indicate that MK-3102 significantly lowered blood sugar in this 12-week study compared with placebo with an incidence of symptomatic hypoglycemia that was similar to placebo in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. These data were presented Wednesday at the 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Berlin.

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