Array BioPharma (ARRY) said its lung cancer drug failed to meet the primary goal in a mid-stage study of demonstrating statistical significance of overall survival.

In the study, which was conducted by AstraZeneca (AZN), the drug, called selumetinib, was tested in 87 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

While the treatment demonstrated a numerically greater increase in survival, the statistical improvement fell short when compared with chemotherapy drug docetaxel.

The study's second most important goals, however, including progression-free survival, objective response rate, and alive and progression-free at six months, all demonstrated statistical significance over the placebo.

Non-small-cell lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality in the U.S., and some 186,000 new cases have been estimated for 2011.

The drug was licensed by AstraZeneca, which is also conducting a mid-stage trial with selumetinib as a treatment for melanoma.

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