Novartis takes $120M hit from failed drug trial

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG says it has halted late-stage development of a new drug for lung cancer and will write off $120 million in the fourth quarter as a result.

The company, based in Basel, said Thursday the experimental drug ASA404 failed to significantly extend survival rates in combination with chemotherapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Novartis had licensed the drug also known as vadimezan from Britain’s Antisoma PLC in 2007.

Shares in Novartis dipped 0.6 percent to 54.70 Swiss francs ($56.40) on the Zurich exchange.

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