Hypertension At Bristol Myers

Withdrawal of a crucial new drug rocks the company

To Wall Street, it looked like a sure bet. A Food & Drug Administration panel was set to meet on May 1 to decide whether to recommend approval of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s new super-powerful hypertension drug Vanlev. The FDA had already granted the drug an accelerated review, giving investors confidence that it would get the agency's O.K. and be on the market later this year. And analysts such as SG Cowen Securities Corp.'s Stephen M. Scala were expecting Vanlev to be a blockbuster, racking up sales of $2 billion by 2003.

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