News Column

Ahead of the Bell: Ariad regains some lost ground

June 2, 2014

The Associated Press

Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped more than 10 percent Monday before markets opened and after the drugmaker reported positive results from a study of its leukemia treatment Iclusig in patients with another form of cancer.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts, company said Sunday that researchers found anti-tumor activity in a small, midstage study of adults with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors after another treatment had failed. These tumors mostly occur in the stomach or small intestine.

The company also said the Food and Drug Administration had lifted a partial clinical hold on new patient enrollment for the trial, and 35 people were enrolled as of April 7.

Iclusig is approved as a treatment for leukemia patients in the United States, European Union and Switzerland. Ariad relaunched the drug in the U.S. last December after addressing safety concerns raised by the FDA. The company added new warnings about potential blood clots and the risk of heart failure to the drug's label. It also revised prescribing information on which patients should receive the drug.

Ariad shares were up 14.2 percent, or 92 cents, to $7.38 less than an hour before markets opened Monday. The stock had traded above $20 as recently as last September, but shares plunged after the drugmaker reported problems with serious blood clots in some patients taking Iclusig, and regulators halted enrollment in clinical studies.

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Source: Associated Press

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