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Forest Resumes Drug Trial

The study of a stroke drug had been temporarily halted.

Just two days after announcing that a clinical trial had been temporarily halted for a stroke-treatment drug,

Forest Laboratories


says that human testing has resumed.

Forest, which licenses the drug from Germany's

Paion AG

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, said Friday night that patients are again being enrolled in a test of desmoteplase, a genetically engineered version of a protein found in the saliva of vampire bats.

The company said an independent data-monitoring committee had given the go-ahead to resume testing without any changes in the study's guidelines after having reviewed data on 170 patients.

On Oct. 25, Forest said

enrollment in the trial was halted after the committee had asked for information "to facilitate the evaluation of a potential safety signal." Forest said the committee didn't cite a specific issue in the late-stage clinical trial.

Desmoteplase is a clot-dissolver being tested as a treatment for ischemic stroke, which is caused by blood clots and accounts for about 85% of strokes. Forest says enrollment will continue through this year. The results should be available by mid-2007.

Forest's stock was up 78 cents, or 1.6%, to $48.66 early Monday.