Biotech firm Millennium Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday it was stopping its Phase III clinical trial for its cancer drug Velcade, because the results were so good it wanted to allow patients in the control group to get the treatment. Velcade, which is already approved to treat patients with multiple myeloma who have failed at least one therapy, was testing patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. When compared to standard treatment, the drug "demonstrated a highly statistically significant improvement in all efficacy measures." The company plans on filing an application with U.S. regulators to market the drug for initial therapy to treat myeloma in early 2008, and if approved, the drug will "double the number of patients eligible to receive the benefit of Velcade," said Dr. Nancy Simonian, Millennium's chief medical officer. Millennium was up 9.0% to $10.65 Tuesday.
Sources: MarketWatch, Reuters, CNN
Commentary: Cancer Stocks: The Bleeding Slows • Millenium Pharmaceuticals A Sell On Strong Competition, Slowed Growth
Stocks/ETFs to watch: MLNM. Competitors: CELG, PHRM. ETFs: BBH, HRD
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