This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Ariad Pharma Plunges On Disclosure Of Iclusig Toxicity

Stocks in this article: ARIA NVS

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. ( TheStreet) -- Ariad Pharmaceuticals' (ARIA - Get Report) admitted Wednesday that its leukemia drug Iclusig causes more blood clots and heart-related side effects than previously reported, forcing the company to halt enrollment in Iclusig clinical trials and advise patients currently on the drug to lower the dose.

Shares of Ariad plunged 67.2% to $5.62 in early Wednesday trading.

Going into Wednesday's announcement, Ariad's $4 billion market valuation hinged on the company's ability to grow Iclusig into a front-line therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Some investors were shorting Ariad on the belief that Iclusig was too toxic to ever become a blockbuster cancer drug.

Wednesday, the shorts were proven right about Iclusig's safety risks. Ariad bulls who insisted Iclusig's safety was not a problem made the wrong call.

After examining two years of follow-up data from the clinical study used for Iclusig's approval, Ariad discovered the rate of serious arterial blood clots had risen to almost 12%. This compares to a blood clot rate of 8% after one year of follow up in Iclusig-treated patients.

The higher incidence of arterial blood clots caused by Iclusig led to heart-related safety events in 6.2% of patients and strokes in 4% of patients, Ariad said.

After discussions with the FDA, Ariad has halted enrollment in all ongoing Iclusig clinical trials, including the so-called EPIC study which compares Iclusig to Novartis' (NVS - Get Report) Gleevec in front-line CML patients. The EPIC study is the linchpin of Ariad's strategy to boost sales of Iclusig by moving into the larger pool of newly diagnosed CML patients.

Ariad had also instructed doctors treated CML patients currently with Iclusig to lower the prescribed dose.

The FDA will be issuing its own safety warning to doctors about Iclusig, Ariad said. Further changes to Iclusig's label are also likely.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Follow Adam Feuerstein on Twitter.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs