Britain's battle-scarred biotech sector took another blow as questions were raised about side effects of members of the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor (MMPI) class of drugs.

British Biotech plc and Glaxo Wellcome revealed last Friday that they were discontinuing BB-2983, a potential disease-modifying oral anti-inflammatory drug they had been developing as a treatment for arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Earlier in the week, Chiroscience Group plc (Cambridge, U.K.; LSE:CRO) announced that it was dropping D5410, an MMPI it was developing as a possible arthritis treatment.