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Pfizer Halts Studies on Osteoarthritis Drug

From Associated Press (June 23, 2010)

NEW YORK -- Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday it has suspended clinical trials of its drug tanezumab as a potential osteoarthritis treatment, after some patients' conditions worsened.

Pfizer said it halted the worldwide program following a request by the Food and Drug Administration after reports of a "small number" of patients experiencing more severe osteoarthritis that led to joint replacement. Osteoarthritis is a chronic breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints.

The clinical hold includes both suspending recruitment of new patients and the dosing of existing patients in the osteoarthritis program, as well as patients with osteoarthritis in other studies.

To date, Pfizer said the adverse event has not been observed in patients without osteoarthritis that are taking tanezumab. The drug also is being developed as a potential treatment for lower back pain and bone cancer pain.

The FDA has asked that Pfizer later this week present its assessment of the potential implications on other ongoing clinical studies of tanezumab.

Pfizer shares fell 9 cents to close at $14.88.


Posted: June 2010