Ariad Pharmaceuticals Able to Continue Its EU Iclusig Sales
Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) surged Friday, after the company revealed advisors to European Union regulators believe the company's Iclusig cancer drug should stay on the European market. Iclusig is used to treat two rare types of leukemia.
Iclusig is Ariad's only product and was approved by both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency in 2012.
On Oct. 31, however, the Food and Drug Adminstration asked the company to suspend marketing and sales of Iclusig. The watchdog group issued a warning to the company on Oct. 11 after discovering around 24 percent of patients using the drug had heart attacks, strokes and other serious vascular events.
Prior to that, on Oct. 9, shares of Ariad plunged 66 percent, after the company was forced to roll out a lower dosing schedule for patients. The roll out came after investigators discovered a rising rate of blood clots among patients taking the treatment. Shares declined a further 28 percent over the two next two days.
Shares lost an additional 40 percent on Oct. 18, after the company said it will shut down its pivotal EPIC 3 clinical study of Iclusig, before hitting multi-year lows of $2.15 in late October.
On Friday Oppenheimer released a company update report, urging investors to exercise caution.
“While this is a positive outcome for Ariad, we remain cautious as the EMA's in-depth investigation of Iclusig is still ongoing," noted David Ferreiro, a senior analyst and research director with the research firm, "and further changes to the label or a recall are still possible depending on the outcome of the investigation."
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