Bristol-Myers Squibb to exit diabetes joint venture - Citi analyst

By Marc Castro

Nov 08, 2013 09:18 AM EST

AstraZeneca had laid out plans to increase its shareholdings in its diabetes joint venture with Bristol-Myers Squibb. This comes after the decision by the latter pharmaceutical firm would be exiting diabetes drug research efforts.

The said decision was confirmed by Citi. It said Bristol, in an announcement last Thursday that it would no longer be conducting research in finding drug therapies for diabetes, hepatitis C and in the field of neuroscience. Instead, it would be concentrating its efforts in developing drug therapies in the field of oncology and cancer research through the body's own immune system.

This new alignment suggests Bristol would seek to sell off its shareholdings in the non-US part of its diabetes joint venture with partner AstraZeneca. It is for this reason Citi analyst Andrew Baum advised shareholders of such a move to divest shareholdings through a note circulated last Friday.

When sought for comment, an AstraZeneca spokeswoman said that the firm does not comment on speculation. AstraZeneca is the second largest pharmaceutical firm in Britain.

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