Before the open this morning, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that it and Pierre Fabre Medicament were terminating a license agreement for developing vinflunine, a chemotherapy agent under investigation for treatment of bladder cancer and other tumors. Vinflunine was developed by Pierre Fabre Medicament and licensed to BMY in 2004 for specific territories. Based on several factors, including a decision not to file a new drug application for bladder cancer in the U.S., the companies decided to return the licensing rights to Pierre Fabre Medicament.

Pierre Fabre Medicament said it intends to continue discussions with European regulatory authorities and plans to file for vinflunine registration for bladder cancer in the first quarter of 2008.

The shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb have been trapped in a sideways channel since late July, moving the security closer to potential long-term support in the form of its ascending 20-month moving average at the 27 level. Meanwhile, sentiment toward the pharmaceutical giant is somewhat mixed at the moment. Wall Street has its doubts about the firm, with only 4 of the 16 analysts following the company rating it a buy. On the other hand, options players have grown complacent toward the shares, as the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio sits near the middle of its annual range.