According to Reuters, Swiss drugmaker Novartis has withdrawn its pursuit of Cytokinetics, causing a significant 21% drop in the U.S. drug developer's shares during afternoon trade.
Earlier this week, rumors swirled that suggested Novartis was leading the bidding race for Cytokinetics, surpassing competitors like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Both Novartis and Cytokinetics refrained from commenting or confirming the market rumors.
Cytokinetics could be an appealing acquisition for drugmakers due to its promising late-stage trial data for its experimental drug, aficamten, designed for the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary chronic heart disease with the potential to cause cardiac arrest.
A source told Reuters that Novartis might reconsider a deal in the future, or an alternative suitor could emerge.