Gilead's experimental drug fails mid-stage study

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[September 17, 2014]  (Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc said its experimental drug did not significantly improve how long patients with a type of pancreatic cancer lived without the disease worsening.

The mid-stage study evaluated the drug, simtuzumab, in combination with chemotherapy, against a placebo plus chemotherapy, in previously untreated patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

The study failed its main goal of improving progression-free-survival (PFS). There was no statistically significant difference in PFS between patients on simtuzumab and those on the placebo, Gilead said on Wednesday.

Simtuzumab is also being tested for use in colorectal cancer, myelofibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and liver fibrosis.

Last week, Gilead said the next generation version of its $84,000 hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, already under fire for its record-breaking costs, was going to be even more expensive.

Separately, the biotechnology company also licensed Sovaldi to seven India-based drugmakers that will sell far cheaper versions of the drug in 91 developing nations.

Foster City, California-based Gilead's stock was little changed at $105.14 in premarket trading on Wednesday. The stock closed at $104.76 on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Simon Jennings)

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