Issue Date: March 6, 2017
Merck writes off hepatitis C drug
Merck & Co. has decided to write off its R&D program for uprifosbuvir, a nucleotide prodrug in Phase II development for treating hepatitis C. Merck acquired the compound when it purchased Idenix Pharmaceuticals for $3.9 billion in 2014. Recent changes in the pricing and sales outlook for the competitive hepatitis C market caused Merck to reassess its prospects and the drug’s value. As a result, the company will take a $2.9 billion pretax charge against 2016 earnings. Merck says it will continue to evaluate options for the uprifosbuvir clinical development program.
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