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A new multiple sclerosis medicine from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) was approved Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration — a decision that may end up helping Bristol shareholders first, before patients.

The newly approved drug, a once-daily pill to be sold under the brand name Zeposia, enters a multiple sclerosis treatment market crowded with rival, entrenched products that Bristol could find challenging to replace. Its future could be more promising in other autoimmune diseases.

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