Roberto Bellini, Bellus Health CEO

Bel­lus soars on pos­i­tive mid-stage read­out for its Mer­ck cough ri­val, de­spite a fail­ure in atopic der­mati­tis

Do in­vestors want the good news, or the bad news first? Bel­lus went with the good news, shar­ing that its chron­ic cough con­tender hit the pri­ma­ry end­point in a Phase IIb tri­al, lin­ing it up for a Phase III study in the sec­ond half of next year where it could pose stiff com­pe­ti­tion for Mer­ck.

Amidst all the com­mo­tion, the Cana­di­an biotech al­so re­vealed that the same can­di­date flunked a proof-of-con­cept tri­al in atopic der­mati­tis, and the com­pa­ny will now steer the pro­gram away from pru­rit­ic con­di­tions.

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