Celgene Halts Crohn's Disease Drug Trials

Drugmaker Celgene Corp. (CELG) has ended two clinical trials for a Crohn's disease treatment and halted plans to launch a third, following a recommendation from a data-monitoring panel.

Shares, up 36% over the past 12 months, fell 5.5%, to $128.50, in after-hours trading Thursday.

Celgene didn't say what prompted the panel's recommendation, beyond saying the company was disappointed with the results of one of the clinical trials that was ended.

"There were no meaningful safety imbalances identified in the analysis," Celgene said in a statement Thursday.

A treatment in one of the halted trials was also being studied in an ulcerative colitis trial.

Data-monitoring panels are independent groups of experts in the disease area being studied that have access to raw data during the course of testing.

The Summit, N.J., company estimated it would book a fourth-quarter charge of $300 million to $500 million, or roughly 27 cents a share to 45 cents a share after-tax. While the exact amount is still being determined, the company said, about half of that would require cash payments.

Crohn's disease, a chronic disease that causes inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract, affects about half a million people in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Write to Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 19, 2017 18:59 ET (22:59 GMT)