SciClone Tumbles After Cancer Drug Trial Stops

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. dropped Monday after the company suspended a study of its drug candidate RP101, which was intended as a treatment for late stage pancreatic cancer.

On Friday, SciClone said a data monitoring committee recommended it stop the trial. The company has not yet seen full results from the midstage study. In heavy afternoon trading, SciClone shares fell 67 cents, or 16.1 percent, to $3.48.

Despite the end of the trial, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Reni Benjamin kept a "Market Outperform" rating on SciClone. Benjamin said the company has a strong pipeline, and said he expects strong sales of SciClone's drug Zadaxin.

Zadaxin is used to treat hepatitis B and C, and is used to increase the effectiveness of some vaccines. It has not been approved in the U.S. Sales totaled $54.1 million in 2008, and Benjamin expects that to rise to about $73 million this year.

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