Citing safety concerns, Lilly suspends cancer drug trial

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly is suspending a late-stage clinical trial of a cancer drug amid safety concerns, the drug maker said Monday.

The company had been conducting a phase-3 trial of the pharmaceutical drug tasisulam as a second-line treatment for patients with melanoma whose cancer could not be removed or had spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is diagnosed in 68,000 people in the Untied States every year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Trials of the drug in patients with leukemia, soft tissue sarcoma, breast, ovarian and kidney cancers will continue due to differences in dosing.

“We are thoroughly reviewing the clinical trial data to understand what modifications to the study protocol or dosing would be needed to improve patient safety on this trial,” said Richard Gaynor, Lilly VP oncology product development and medical affairs.

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