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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.


With people across the country at risk of coronavirus infections and the health care system struggling to deal with Covid-19 cases, Bristol decided the “responsible course of action” is to delay a formal commercial launch of Zeposia until the crisis subsides, a company spokesperson told STAT.

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