Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG said Monday that it is ending a late-stage clinical trial of its drug Tasigna as a treatment for cancerous tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.
Novartis said an independent data monitoring committee recommended stopping the trial because patients who were treated with Tasigna were not doing significantly better than patients treated with Gleevec, which Novartis also makes. It said Gleevec has become the standard treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or tumors that mostly occur in the stomach or small intestine but that can also be found in the liver, colon, esophagus or rectum.
Tasigna is approved in the European Union, Switzerland and Japan as a treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia. Novartis reported $399 million in revenue from Tasigna in 2010.
Shares of Novartis rose 9 cents to $55.39 in morning trading.