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Novartis AG (NVS), Vectura Group plc (VEC.L) Lung Drugs Face Delay


10/25/2011 7:41:39 AM

Shares in U.K. drug maker Vectura Group PLC (VEC.LN) fell more than 20% Tuesday after its partner Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) reported delays to the U.S. regulatory approval of key lung drug NVA237. Novartis said U.S. regulators have asked for further clinical data on the drug, an inhaled powder for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition known as smoker's lung. The delay will also affect Vectura's QVA149, which combines NVA237 with another drug, and is also licensed to Novartis. The delays are a serious blow to Vectura's prospects, particularly in the case of QVA149, which analysts have tipped as a potential blockbuster lung medicine.

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