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AstraZeneca Pulls Blood Thinner

The company takes Exanta off the market, citing concerns of liver damage.
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is pulling the anticoagulant Exanta from the market and ending its development, citing concerns about the drug's link to severe liver damage.

The London-based pharmaceuticals maker estimates that around 400 patients are currently being prescribed the drug for the short-term prevention of blood clots following orthopedic surgery.

Two ongoing Exanta clinical trials will be discontinued, and patients taking the drug will be switched to other treatments. Regulatory filings in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere will be withdrawn.

The decision to remove Exanta from the market was triggered by new patient safety data from a clinical trial. The data indicate the drug carries a potential risk of severe liver injury after 35 days of treatment. There was no evidence of a risk of liver damage with approved use of Exanta for up to 11 days.

Shares of AstraZeneca were down 53 cents, or 1.2%, to $45.22.