CAMBRIDGE, Mass (TheStreet) -- Blood clots and heart-related side effects have now forced Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( (ARIA)) to shut down a vital clinical trial involving its leukemia drug Iclusig, the company said Friday.
Ariad shares are down 33% to $3 in early Friday trading.
The so-called EPIC study was designed to compare Iclusig to Novartis' ( (NVS)) Gleevec in patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Right now, Iclusig is used primarily in CML patients who no longer respond to first- and second-line therapies. If positive, the EPIC trial could have helped Ariad convince doctors to use Iclusig in earlier-stage CML patients, thereby greatly increasing sales.
Ariad's plan is now shot because of Iclusig's toxicity. The EPIC study is being discontinued because too many patients treated with the drug were reporting blood clots, the company said.The decision to shutter the EPIC trial comes 10 days after Ariad stopped enrolling new patients into the study for the same heart-related safety concerns. The FDA has issued a warning to doctors about Iclusig's cardiac-related toxicity, although the drug has not been pulled from the market. Ariad's stock price is down more than 80% since the company first admitted Iclusig's significant toxicity. If Iclusig remains on the market, the drug will likely be used only in CML patients who have failed other treatments, or in a small subset of patients with a genetic mutation known as T35i.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV