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La Jolla Halts Tests on Anti-Lupus Drug

May 13, 1999|Bloomberg News

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co., a money-losing biotechnology company, stopped a trial of its only major product candidate, a treatment for the inflammatory disorder lupus, saying the drug wasn't as effective as hoped. San Diego-based La Jolla and marketing partner Abbott Laboratories said they decided to halt a trial of the compound LJP 394 on more than 200 patients because an analysis found that the experimental drug didn't meet the main goal of the study. The news is likely to send shares of La Jolla tumbling today because the company has only about $21 million in cash and no other products in late-stage development, analysts said. La Jolla's shares rose 33% amid optimism that it would report positive results from the trial. They rose 81 cents to close at $3.31 on Nasdaq. Abbott Park, Ill.-based Abbott rose $2.19 to close at $49.75 on the NYSE. The companies disclosed the news after the markets closed.

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