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Ariad Pharmaceuticals' Leukemia Drug Approved Early


The drug Iclusig gets US market clearance to treat two rare blood cancers. Shares of the company fall.


Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) won US approval to sell its drug for two rare blood cancers. The approval came more than three months earlier than a deadline for government officials to act.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared Iclusig (also known as ponatinib) to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The drug will include a warning label to note the drug can cause blood clots and liver toxicity.

There are 5,000 new cases of chronic myeloid leukemia a year, according to Ariad.

Shares of Ariad had more than doubled in the past year but the stock is selling off Friday. Ariad shares dropped 17% to $19.88 in afternoon trading.

The stock was up earlier this week after the company presented positive study data at a major medical conference.

(See Celgene, Pharmacyclics, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, ImmunoGen, Array BioPharma Get Boost From Medical Conference.)

Twitter: @brettchase

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