Seattle Genetics suspends leukemia drug trial after patient deaths

The global biotech company Seattle Genetics discontinued a phase 3 clinical trial for an acute myeloid leukemia drug due to a high rate of death among patients treated with the experimental drug.

Seattle Genetics cut the trial short on June 16 after a review of study data showed patients treated with the experimental drug were experiencing a higher death rate than the control group.

"This is a disappointing and unexpected result for the … trial. Patient safety is our highest priority, and we will closely review the data and evaluate next steps," said Clay Siegall, PhD, president and CEO at Seattle Genetics, according to a release. "AML is a devastating disease with a poor prognosis in most patients, and there is a great need for therapeutics against this disease. We thank the patients, caregivers and investigators for their support of this trial."

The Food and Drug Administration placed a clinical hold on Seattle Genetics' leukemia drug trial in December 2016 after four participants died. The agency removed the hold in March. 

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