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Pfizer halts tanezumab drug trial


Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has followed the advice of federal regulators in the US and ended tests of a drug designed to treat two types of pain.

The company was testing tanezumab, used to treat patients with chronic lower back pain and nerve damage from diabetes complications.

Following the advice of the Food and Drug Administration, both tests have been halted, and patients taking the pills will have to stop.

The latest problem with tanezumab follows on from the halting of tests into its use to treat osteoarthritis four weeks ago.

During the study, some patients said they felt their condition worsened, prompting the FDA to intervene.

New York-based Pfizer said the FDA made the new request after further review of reports of harm to patients with osteoarthritis. Pfizer said it will keep working with the FDA to decide how to handle all future human testing of the drug.

In the last 18 months, about a dozen studies of experimental drugs Pfizer was testing for Alzheimer’s disease, or various types of cancer and pain, failed because of poor efficacy or safety problems not seen in years of prior research.

Copyright Press Association 2010


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