Bristol-Myers Squibb says it will discontinue drug discovery in hepatitis C, diabetes and neuroscience - as it continues to "focus investment on priority areas such as immuno-oncology".  

The move is likely to result in the loss of up to 75 jobs though B-MS hopes to find alternative employment within the group for some of the researchers affected. Chief scientific officer Francis Cuss said that "we have decided to shift R&D toward a more specialty biopharma model that focuses on the areas of significant unmet medical need, driving near-term growth through our current late-stage portfolio".

He added that the decision has been taken to ensure "the long-term growth of the company by evolving the disease areas and drug platforms on which we concentrate our research efforts". B-MS will increase investment in immuno-oncology, "an area of significant opportunity, to realise the full potential of immunotherapy in certain cancers," adding that it will continue to focus on HIV, hepatitis, heart failure, oncology, immunoscience and fibrotic diseases.