Wyeth shares are reeling on the news that bifeprunox won't be approved. The stock is down about 7.5 percent since the FDA's "not approvable" letter was announced.
Coming on the heels of regulatory rejection of Pristiq, an antidepressant that was being tested for treatment of menopausal symptoms, and almost coincident with the halting of trials on Wyeth's hepatitis C hopeful (under development with ViroPharma), the bifeprunox blow was severe. Does Wyeth have enough new ideas up its pipeline to help pick up the slack? Some analysts think not; they're predicting a decline in sales and profits in 2010 or 2011 as blockbusters Effexor and Protonix come off patent. "The roof is leaking," says one. Unfortunately, fixing these kinds of holes isn't as easy as replacing a few shingles.