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Monsanto Unit Scales Back Heart Drug Study

November 05, 1998| Bloomberg News

Monsanto Co.'s Searle drug unit said it scaled back a study of its clot-preventing heart drug after seeing a greater-than-expected number of deaths in one group of patients receiving the drug. The discrepancy showed in results for the first 30 days of use of the drug. Monsanto will continue the study only with about 8,000 patients already in the test more than 30 days. It dropped another 2,000 who had been enrolled less than 30 days. Monsanto once intended to include more than 12,000 patients in the study. The drug, known as orbofiban, is an oral tablet version of a class of drugs that have become well accepted among cardiologists. Centocor Inc., Cor Therapeutics Inc. and Merck & Co. sell the currently approved drugs in the class, which analysts say could have sales of $1 billion a year or more. Shares of St. Louis-based Monsanto dropped $4.44 to close at $38 on the NYSE.

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