Money Matters - Simplified

Amylin and Alkermes Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

 Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

 What: Biotech company Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AMLN) and Alkermes (Nasdaq: ALKS) saw their shares plunge in dramatic fashion this morning, on news that U.S. regulators have declined to approve their long-acting diabetes drug Bydureon.

So what: Amylin's shares spiraled a staggering 50%, while Alkermes was down a nasty 30%.Ely Lilly (NYSE: LLY), which co-developed Bydureon, fell about 4%. On the positive side, shares of Danish drug giant Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) popped 10% on the news, as Bydureon is viewed as a serious threat to Novo's diabetes drug franchise.

Now what: Today's decision marks the second Food and Drug Administration rejection of Bydureon, but this one comes on a nasty, Roy Halladay-like curveball. The FDA's request formore data on Bydureon's potential heart risks comes as a huge surprise and, as resident biotech Fool Brian Orelli noted, represents somewhat of a worst-case scenario for the drug. Bydureon will now be delayed as long as 20 months, and the competitive landscape is only expected to be more daunting by that time. While it's always tempting to jump on a jaw-dropping price plunge, this Fool's stomach just isn't strong enough to do it today.

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