Novartis cancer drug starts late-stage trial
Novartis AG said it has started a late-stage trial for its ASA404 drug in lung cancer, after the treatment disrupting the supply of blood to tumors helped people live longer in earlier tests.
The Swiss company had previously announced plans to start the Phase III trial in 2008 and the news does not change analysts' estimates, with Landsbanki Kepler's Denise Anderson seeing a filing in 2011 or later.
Novartis shares, which have been hurt this week by the drugmaker's $39 billion acquisition of eyecare company Alcon Inc, were 0.4% higher at 48.44 Swiss francs.
ASA404, if successful, would be the first in a new type of cancer treatment designed to disrupt the supply of blood to tumors.
It works in a different way from Roche Holding AG and Genentech Inc's Avastin and could also compete with Merck KGaA's Erbitux. (Reuters)
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