Positive Data for Lilly Drug

The company says that a test of its drug for heart attack patients shows positive safety results.
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Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report

drifted lower Monday morning despite the announcement Sunday that a test of an experimental drug for helping heart attack patients showed safety results comparable to those of the current market leader.

Lilly's stock was off 66 cents, or 1%, to $63.66 early Monday.

Lilly and its Japanese partner

Sankyo

said phase II tests of the drug CS-747 were comparable to Plavix, which is marketed by

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

and

Sanofi-Aventis

(SNY) - Get Report

. Both drugs are called antiplatelet agents.

Phase II tests are the second of three sets of clinical trials conducted by companies seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The study's results were presented Sunday at the European Society of Cardiology in Munich, Germany.

Although the study was designed to examine safety, it also reported a "non- statistically significant trend" with the use of CS-747 vs. Plavix in reducing additional heart-related problems, such as patients suffering another heart attack during the 30-day period in which they were observed.

The study's main objective was comparing the number of "clinically significant bleeding events" for CS-747 patients with those of Plavix patients who had a procedure to open a blocked coronary artery with a stent. The researchers also examined whether there were fewer heart attacks, strokes and other serious heart complications after treatment with CS-747.

The study was conducted in conjunction with the TIMI Study Group at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. It evaluated 904 patients in the U.S. and Canada. The study found "no significant differences in bleeding" for the two drugs and no significant differences in death, heart attack or stroke.

"We are pleased with the outcome of this trial and look forward to the continued development of this agent for the treatment of patients with heart disease," Dr. Holger Schilske, executive director of the cardiovascular therapeutic unit at Lilly, said Sunday.