Amgen ends studies of gastric cancer drug rilotumumab, citing deaths of patients in trial

MarketsAssociated Press

Biotech drugmaker Amgen said Monday it is ending late-stage trials of its gastric cancer treatment rilotumumab because patients who took the drug were more likely to die.

Amgen said more patients died after treatment with rilotumumab and chemotherapy than with chemotherapy alone. The company said its decision is based on a scheduled safety review from one late-stage trial. Amgen is terminating that trial and one other.

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Amgen Inc. is the world's largest biotechnology company, and its drugs include the anemia treatments Neulasta and Neupogen and osteoporosis therapy Prolia. The company expects $20.8 billion to $21.3 billion in revenue in 2015.

Shares of the Thousand Oaks, California, company rose $1.41 to $164.22 in afternoon trading.