Sweden’s Medivir has been told that partner Bristol-Myers Squibb has terminated the development of the firms’ preclinical HIV compound MIV-170.

The decision was taken “because the compound did not meet the profile desired” by New York-based drugs major and the Swedish firm noted that

MIV-170 belongs to the group of polymerase inhibitors that it had already discontinued the development of and that are administered by the subsidiary Medivir HIV Franchise AB.

The chief executive of the latter unit, Bo Oberg, said that “everyone is aware of the obvious risks” in early pharmaceutical research and MIV-170 has not yet reached the clinic. “Statistically half of all pharmaceutical projects fail in this early pre-clinical development phase,” he noted, but the licence agreement with B-MS has already provided the firm “with payments that by far exceed Medivir's investments in the project".

Chief executive of Medivir, Lars Adlersson, said that "the termination of this collaboration will not have any material effect on Medivir's ability to establish itself as a profitable, research-based pharmaceutical company with its own regional sales force.” He added that the firm had “intentionally refrained from continued investments in the group of compounds that MIV-170 belongs to” and our focus is entirely on the mature projects,” notably treatments for hepatitis C and cold sores.